FloGrappling’s Who’s #1 event returned on Friday night with nine no gi super fights, headlined by Craig Jones and Pedro Marinho.
In 2021, WNO put the jiu-jitsu scene on notice, hosting multiple events including the WNO Championships, which paid out over $30k to the division winners. They’ve quickly become one of the premier submission grappling events due largely in part to the excellent matchmaking and ruleset.
Pedro Marinho uses wrestling and guard passing to earn decision 205 lb. title
Austin, Texas based B-Team Jiu Jitsu formed out of the infamous 2021 breakup of the Danaher Death Squad. Craig Jones, Nick Rodriguez, Ethan Crelisten, and Nicky Ryan are notable team members that have helped the B-Team quickly gain notoriety in the sport.
Team leader Craig Jones squared off with Pedro Marinho in the WNO main event. Craig’s 2021 was unfortunately filled with multiple setbacks by way of injury and COVID, but he still managed to earn huge wins over Ronaldo Junior, Luiz Panza, Tye Ruotolo, and Davi Ramos.
His opponent Pedro Marinho had arguably the best year of his career, winning his weight category and the absolute at the 2021 IBJJF No Gi Worlds. Pedro’s biggest weapons are his pace, his takedowns, and his guillotine choke. Craig, on the other hand, has one of the best leg lock games in jiu-jitsu.
Prior to the match, Craig Jones claimed that he’d never pull guard again. He nearly made good on that claim, wrestling Pedro for the first ten minutes of the match. The inactivity on the feet throughout the first ten minutes caused the head referee to signal for more action, and Craig Jones pulled guard shortly afterwards.
It didn’t take long for Pedro to pass the guard once it hit the mat. He controlled Craig’s outside leg, back stepped, and moved to north south to secure the guard pass. Craig escaped shortly after and returned to the standing position, but was unable to get much offense going. Pedro Marinho’s wrestling and guard pass earned him a unanimous decision victory to become the first WNO 205 lb. champion.
Ruotolo wins second title at 170 lbs.; Musumeci retains 135 lb. belt
Tye Ruotolo won the WNO Championships at 185 lbs. and the IBJJF Worlds as a brown belt in 2021 in a breakout year that culminated in his promotion to black belt. He went for his second WNO title at 170 lbs. against berimbolo specialist Levi Jones-Leary in the co-main event of the night. Levi sat to the guard position and had to fend off early guard pass attempts from Tye, who used his trademark leg pin passing system to set up his attempts to get around Levi’s legs.
Levi defended the passes well and even initiated some berimbolo back take attempts that Tye respected, but was able to shut down. During a k-guard entry by Levi, Tye sat back to his hip to attack Levi’s foot. As Levi rotated to free his knee line, Tye passed the foot to his armpit to set up the outside heel hook and secure the tap. With the win, Tye Ruotolo is now the 170 lb. and 185 lb. WNO champion.
Mikey Musumeci won the 135lb. WNO title back in October 2021, debuting his “Mikey lock” heel hook variation to submit Richard Alarcon in under a minute. His opponent was “The Giant Slayer” Estevan Martinez, a no gi world champion and WNO veteran. Mikey immediately pulled to guard and Estevan initiated his dynamic passing with a quick cartwheel. Mikey initiated leg lock attempts, but Estevan was able to extract his short legs to escape any danger.
Although Estevan was able to escape the leg lock attempts, he did find himself in more danger throughout the match, as Mikey was able to take the back and even secure the body triangle. Estevan’s defense was put to the test but he was able to escape every bad position Mikey put him in. He attempted many more guard passes, mostly by way of back flip or cartwheel, but was unable to establish a controlling position. Although Estevan’s defense and escapes were highlights of the match, Mikey won a unanimous decision and defended his WNO 135 lb. belt.
Full results from the event can be found below:
Pedro Marinho def. Craig Jones via unanimous decision
Tye Ruotolo def. Levi Jones-Leary via submission (heel hook)
Elder “El Monstro” Cruz def. Nick Rodriguez via split decision
Brianna Ste-Marie def. Amanda “Tubby” Alequin via split decision
Jacob “The Hillbilly Hammer” Couch def. David Garmo via submission (heel hook)
Mikey Musumeci def. Estevan “The Giant Slayer” Martinez via unanimous decision
Jessica Crane def. Alexa Yanes via submission (heel hook)
Michael Pixley def. Cameron Reed via unanimous decision
Geno Morelli def. Kemoy Anderson via unanimous decision
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