On January 21, 2022 Who’s Number One kicked off their first event of the new year with a stacked card which included some of the best no-gi specialists in the world. The event included 3 title matches and several highly anticipated super fights.
Here are the highlights from the event:
Mikey Musumeci vs Estevan Martinez
For the opening of the Main Card late replacement Mikey Musumeci managed to defend his Bantamweight WNO title against IBJJF Black Belt No-Gi World Champion Estevan “The Giant Slayer” Martinez on two weeks’ notice.
In the opening of this fun and very high paced match Mikey managed to threaten Estevan with several leg lock attempts but wasn’t able to get them deep enough to finish. From the commentator table, the analysts theorized that Martinez’s short body type plus his solid leg lock defense was the reason why the champion was unable to hold the knee line to get the submission from the heel hooks.
As promised in the press conference held the previous day the Giant Slayer made nearly ten backflip and cartwheel guard passing attempts, which led to Musumeci changing his strategy – blocking Martinez’s passes and catching him in his closed guard from where he had more success threatening omoplatas and back takes.
Martinez tried several leg lock attempts of his own and at the end of the clock one of these attempts ended with Musumeci countering and controlling the back once again.
In the end there were no dangerous submission attempts from both competitors but it was still a very fun and aggressive match to watch. The key that earned the champion the unanimous decision from the judges was his non-stop submission attempts and clear desire to finish the match.
Jacob Couch vs David Garmo
In this match, as expected the size difference played a huge factor in favor of Couch and in the end this in combination with the Hillbilly Hammer’s technical skills earned him the victory.
After a short exchange on the feet, Jacob managed to put David in his closed guard where his size played an important factor. Couch worked on setting up triangle attacks and keeping his opponent on the defense from his guard, which the commentators considered to be smart strategy as it helped him avoid Garmo’s dangerous guillotine game.
David eventually was able to break free from the closed gourd and immediately shot for a jumping guillotine, but in the process he left his leg vulnerable and it was caught in a leg lock by Couch which proved to be enough to earn him the finish.
Brianna St. Marie vs Amanda Alequin
The leg lock battle between Brianna St. Marie and Amanda “Tubby” Alequin had everything to be awarded Match Of The Night. The ladies showcased hunger and desire to finish each other with back and forth sweep attempts and a lot of leg lock attacks.
Some of the toe holds were so deep that people in the crowd grimaced in vicarious pain. In the end the match ended up with a split decision in favor of Marie.
Nick Rodriguez vs Elder Cruz
As expected the battle of the Giants took place in the feet. With both athletes having a background in wrestling, Rodriguez and Cruz put on a standing war with a very high pace and neither of them even thought of pulling guard.
Having the better and cleaner takedown attempts, Elder Cruz did enough in the judges eyes to take the win by a split decision.
Tye Ruotolo vs Levi Jones-Leary
The most hyped bout of the event was the Co-Main event between Tye Routolo and Levi Jones-Leary for the WNO Welterweight title. Wasting no time, Leary did what everyone expected from him and pulled guard right at the start of the match. Tye showed no concern for Levi’s guard game and jumped into the fire with no hesitation.
Showcasing a very creative and interesting style of passing, Ruotolo used his feet to step on Jones’ arms and legs between changing sides several times, at times placing both of his legs on him and not on the mat.
Another interesting part of Tye Ruotolo’s game plan was that he tried to counter almost every berimbolo attempt from Leary with a berimbolo of his own (as he promised in the press conference the day before) and several times came very close to secure the back control.
Five minutes after the start of the match Ruotolo changed the tactic and jumped for a leg lock atack from standing position combining a quick heel hook kneebar combination that caught Leary unprepared, earning him the finish and making him the first double champion of WNO. Ruotolo now holds the Welterweight and Middleweight titles.
Craig Jones vs Pedro Marinho
For the Main Event of the evening the organization the 2019 ADCC 88 kilograms Silver Medalist Craig Jones was pitted against 2021 IBJJF No -Gi Black Belt Double Gold World Champion Pedro Marinho for the WNO Light-Heavyweight title.
In the past the Australian grappling star has had difficulties with strong, explosive competitors who have a very good top game and counter fighting styles like Marinho. For the first ten minutes of the match both athletes stayed on their feet having a wrestling exchange but no one seemed to have any successes.
Five minutes before the end of the match Jones switched the tactics and pulled guard. Unfortunately for Jones, Marinho immediately took full advantage with a quick long step pass securing the north south body lock position and this was enough in the judges eye for him to become the first WNO Light- Heavyweight Champion.
January 21, 2022 WNO Preliminary Card Results
- Geno Morelli defeat Kemoy Anderson by unanimous decision
- Michael Pixley defeat Cameron Reed by unanimous decision
- Jessica Crane defeat Alexa Yanes by inside heel hook
January 21, 2022 WNO Main Card Results
- Mikey Musumeci defeat Estevan Martinez by unanimous decision (Bantamweight title match)
- Jacob Couch defeat David Garmo by inside heel hook
- Brianna Ste-Marie defeat Amanda Alequin by split decision
- Elder Cruz defeat Nick Rodriguez by split decision
- Tye Ruotolo defeat Levi Jones-Leary by kneebar (Welterweight title match)
- Pedro Marinho defeat Craig Jones by unanimous decision (Light-Heavyweight title match)
I am black belt under Bruno Bastos and I am very passionate about Jiu Jitsu. I do the sport for 13 years. Now I am an owner and head coach at one of the biggest Jiu Jitsu academies in Bulgaria and still an active competitor.