Flograppling Who’s #1 Preview

On the 8th of February, Flograppling will host their first ever event: “Who’s #1?” The main goal of the event is to showcase some less well known talent in the lower belts with fifteen superfights. That, and hopefully to give us a solid idea of who’s #1, or at least who might be in the next few years.

Two black belt matches will be headlining the event:

Victor Hugo vs Nicholas Meregali

This is what Meregali looks like. He's a tall skinny blond guy.

Perhaps appropriately for an event created to find the top talent in the colored belts, the first headlining event features fighters who were already established top competitors before getting their black belts.

Meregali’s most talked about showing lately might have the bizarre and controversial Erberth Santos match at the Spyder Invitational. But this is unfortunate, as he doesn’t usually need to rely on controversy to generate headlines with his dynamic and aggressive style. Although he plays a fairly straightforward De La Riva guard game, his pace is always high and his transitions are surprisingly sneaky.

As a product of the Ribeiro school, it is no surprise that Victor Hugo has very crisp, fundamental Jiu-jitsu. He is known largely for his closed guard, but he is also vastly underrated and surprisingly good at spinning under his opponent’s base and finding the crab ride. He’s coming in to this match off the back of a solid victory over DDS fan-favorite, Nick Rodriguez at Fight 2 Win 135.

Hugo and Meregali did meet once before at BJJ Stars Grand Prix Super 8 on October 20 last year. Meregali walked away with the victory by points (6-2) that day; lets see if he can do it again.

Keenan Cornelius vs Roberto Jimenez

This guy is also tall, skinny and blond, but this time it's Keenan.

It might be uncommon to open a school to improve your training, but that is exactly what Keenan has done. And since opening Legion in San Diego, his recent competitive performance has been excellent. At the European Championships he earned gold in his division and silver in the absolute, looking relaxed and technical while at it.

On the one hand, we have a seasoned, proven black belt in Keenan Cornelius. Facing him is Robert Jimenez, an up and comer with a laundry list of competitive achievements at the colored belts. It is no secret that a win against such an established athlete would be major for any less well-known talent. A good performance against the lapel king could absolutely skyrocket Jimenez’s stock on the Jiu-jitsu competitive scene.

Who’s #1 Full Card

Black Belt Matches
Nicholas Meregali v Victor Hugo – Ultra-Heavyweight
Roberto Jimenez v Keenan Cornelius – Heavyweight

Dream Art v Atos Matches
Anderson Munis v Conner Deangelis – Brown Belt Heavyweight
Micael Galvao v Mateus Rodrigues – Purple Belt Medium-Heavyweight
Jhonathan Marques vs Tye Ruotolo – Purple Belt Lightweight

Brown Belt Matches
Tainan Dalpra v Mike Khatchikian – Middleweight
Lucas Protasio v Andy Murasaki – Lightweight
Jessa Khan v Vicky Hoang – Roosterweight
Meyram Alves v Joshua Cisneros – Light-Featherweight
Adam Bradley v Dante Cano – Super-Heavyweight

Purple Belt Matches
Chad Wesley Smith v Nsima Inyang – Ultra-Heavyweight
Rui Alves v Steffen Banta – Medium-Heavyweight
Rico Staton v Robin Bohlin – Light-Featherweight
Lucas Montalvao v Elder Cruz – Heavyweight

Blue Belt Juvenile Matches
Cole Abate v Sebastian Oyervidez – 125 lbs.
Dominic Mejia v Andrew Tackett – 160 lbs.
Gustavo Ogawa v Jonah Gratt – 135 lbs.

For tickets to the live event in Costa Mesa, California on February 8th, click here.