Tim Spriggs was crowned the Who’s Number One Heavyweight champion after beating out a field of top grapplers at the WNO Championships. That was around ten months ago though, and the title hasn’t been defended since. Now, the brains behind WNO have decided to strip Spriggs of his title and have adjusted the weightclass for their upcoming main event in order to put the vacant belt on the line.
Gordon Ryan was scheduled to challenge Pedro Marinho for his Light-Heavyweight title originally, but now the pair will be battling it out at Heavyweight instead.
This match isn’t going to be the only big moment at the event however, as it will also feature the conclusion of FloGrappling’s reality show, Who’s Next. ADCC trials winner Izaak Michell and 10th Planet’s Kyle Chambers will battle it out to become the show’s first champion.
Anthony Pettis’ team win UFC Fight Pass Invitational 2
The first edition of the UFC Fight Pass Invitational was a roaring success, delivering exciting team grappling action that featured top grapplers and MMA stars competing against and alongside one another. This time around the event featured an even bigger variation in grappling styles, with three-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal being selected to represent Jorge Masvidal’s team.
In the end it was Anthony Pettis’ team, stacked full of John Danaher’s students, that managed to take home the $25,000 grand prize. Daniel Manasoiu managed to almost single-handedly win their semi-final match with two wins and a draw, while Giancarlo Bodoni and Christos Papadelos impressed in the final. After that it all came down to Oliver Taza taking on Bo Nickal in a tie-breaker match to decide the winning team.
Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida gets a big step up in competition
Buchecha is the most successful IBJJF world champion in the history of the sport and he’s been making waves in the MMA world since making his professional debut for ONE Championship. Buchecha has looked like a man on a mission over the ten months that has passed since then and has quickly put together a perfect 3-0 record, finishing all three of his opponents in the very first round.
Now he’ll be facing his biggest challenge yet, in the form of Kirill Girashenko. Girashenko is coming off of his first professional loss in an interim title fight against Anatoly Malykhin, and will be eager to get back to his winning ways. Prior to that Girashenko was undefeated in five fights and beating him will put Buchecha within touching distance of a title shot against either Malykhin or the champion Arjan Bhullar after they fight for the undisputed title.
Eoghan O’Flanagan to defend title against Jacob Couch at Grapplefest 13
Eoghan O’Flanagan has looked unstoppable recently, from his reign as the Grapplefest 90kgs champion to his flawless run to gold in under 88kg division at ADCC trials. He’s been known in the UK as one of the best leglockers in the country for quite some time, but has only recently managed to break out into the international scene with his trials victory and a submission win over ADCC veteran Jon ‘Thor’ Blank.
Now he’ll be facing fan-favourite Jacob ‘The Hillbilly Hammer’ Couch in the latest defence of his title at Grapplefest 13. Couch was eager to fight O’Flanagan after seeing him in action against Blank at GF 12, where Couch won a decision over former UFC fighter Tom Breese. Should he win, this will only further elevate O’Flanagan’s stock in the States prior to his run at ADCC 2022 where he’s one of the dark horse choices to reach the podium at 88kg.
- Mackenzie Dern has been booked to fight Yan Xiaonan in the main event match of a UFC fight night in October.
- Tenth Planet black belts Kyle Boehm and Vinny Magalhaes switch places for ADCC 2022, with Boehm moving down to under 99kg and Magalhaes moving up to over 99kg.
- Renato Canuto has had his ONE Championship professional grappling debut announced, and he will be taking on Valdir Rodrigues at ONE 160.
- Gutemberg Pereira has been forced to withdraw from ADCC 2022 after winning his place at the South American trials, and will now be replaced by his teammate Max Gimenis.