Nicholas Meregali and Craig Jones met in the semifinals of ADCC 2022 and put on one of the most exciting matches of the weekend, with Jones eventually winning the decision. The score was far from settled between the two though and Who’s Number One arranged for the pair to meet for the second time on February 25th, as the co-main event of the Gordon Ryan v Felipe Pena 4 event.
The Meregali vs Jones rematch has now been postponed indefinitely for undisclosed reasons, and FloGrappling will put together a new supporting fight for the event. Kaynan Duarte has offered to step in to replace Jones at the event and have a fifth match against Meregali, as the pair currently stand at 2-2 against each other. Meregali declined the match and has confirmed that neither him or Jones will compete on February 25th.
Danielle Kelly set to face Judo black belt Ayaka Miura
Danielle Kelly has been hard at work in the ONE Championship cage ever since she became one of the first few grapplers to sign up for the promotion’s new submission grappling division. She was also one of the first to compete back at ONE X, when she registered a draw against Japanese MMA veteran Mei Yamaguchi. By the time she had her second match, the promotion instituted judging to remove the possibility for draws.
She then faced Sambo world champion Mariia Molchanova at ONE on Prime Video 4, taking her back early in the match and submitting her with a rear-naked choke. Now Kelly will be having her third ONE Championship bout on February 11th, 2023 at ONE on Prime Video 7 against Ayaka Miura. Miura is another MMA veteran but with a slightly different background, as she is a third degree black belt in Judo training under Ryo Chonan at Tribe Tokyo MMA.
Rafael Lovato Jr turns back the clock in MMA return
Rafael Lovato Jr shocked the world back in 2020 when he relinquished the Bellator Middleweight title and announced that his undefeated MMA career would be ending as a result of a rare brain condition. Although Lovato Jr has returned to professional grappling competition since then and has been open about a desire to return to MMA, it has looked unlikely that he would ever be medically cleared to fight.
Then came the the annual end-of-year combat sports event in Japan, Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye x Ganryujima. After three years away from the sport, Lovato Jr made his return to MMA against Taiga Iwasaki and he looked just as sharp as he always has. It didn’t take Lovato Jr long at all to get the fight where he wanted and he dominated Iwasaki on the ground to lock up a tight kimura, forcing the tap after a little over two minutes of action.
Gillian Robertson submits Rose Namajunas at Fury Pro Grappling 6
Fury Pro Grappling returned and put together another event stacked with high-level MMA fighters competing under submission grappling rules. The main event saw two-time UFC strawweight world champion Rose Namajunas taking on Gillian Robertson, and it took Robertson just 65 seconds to take the former champion’s back and lock up a rear-naked choke to get the win.
Namajunas’ partner and coach Pat Barry also competed, losing a decision to Jon Pellot. The co-main event saw Chase Hooper submit Clay Guida with a calf slicer, while other UFC veterans like Ovince St. Preux and Eryk Anders lost decisions to Andre Petroski and Joseph Pyfer respectively. Pat Sabatani registered the only other submission of the main card, tapping Alex Caceres with a rear-naked choke.
- UFC veteran Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva announced his retirement from professional MMA, although he will be continue competing in grappling matches.
- Footage was released of UFC and ONE Championship legend Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson rolling with Garry Tonon in a training session.
- MMA fighter Vitaliy Mironyuk landed an incredibly rare submission at ROAD FC 62 when he locked up a baseball bat choke to defeat Kim Jin Kuk.
- Teenage BJJ prodigy Helena Crevar has moved to Austin, Texas with her family in order to train under John Danaher at New Wave Jiu-Jitsu.