A no-gi match between multiple-time gi world champion Nicholas Meregali and former ADCC champion Cyborg Abreu is set for the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4.
An intriguing heavyweight no-gi matchup is set to go down on Thursday, June 29 at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4, as 2022 ADCC medalist Nicholas Meregali will square off with former ADCC absolute world champion Roberto “Cybrog” Abreu.
The event will also feature a main event match between Felipe Pena and Craig Jones.
Nicholas Meregali vs. Cyborg Abreu
Long considered one of the planet’s best gi competitors, Meregali burst onto the no-gi scene last year, earning an invitation to the 2022 ADCC World Championships after just several months of no-gi training. That training – done under the guidance of John Danaher at New Wave Jiu-Jitsu – served the 29-year-old well, as he defeated the likes of Yuri Simoes and Tye Ruotolo on his way to capturing third in the 99kg division and second in the absolute division.
Since then, Meregali has returned to the gi, putting on a dominant, double-gold performance at the 2023 IBJJF Pans, as well as defeating top no-gi light heavyweight athlete Pedro Marinho at Who’s Number One.
Abreu, meanwhile, is one of the longest-tenured, most accomplished athletes competing in the sport today. A 2013 ADCC absolute champion and six-time IBJJF no-gi world champion, he has remained among the elite for the entirety of his black belt career. The Fight Sports founder initially won gold at the 2022 IBJJF No-Gi Worlds but was subsequently stripped of his title due to USADA sanctions.
Abreu is currently involved in ongoing sexual assault litigation that involves an inappropriate and abusive relationship between one of Abreu’s former black belts and a then-underage student at a Fight Sports affiliate academy.
On paper, this matchup is a compelling one. As talented as Meregali is, he is still developing his overall no-gi game. Cyborg, on the other hand, is extremely experienced in no-gi competition and has proven himself many times over against the best grapplers in the world.
Throughout his career, Cyborg has earned the reputation of an explosive, athletic grappler that excels in scrambles. And while he is still very much explosive and athletic, he may be showing signs of slowing down at 42 years old and well over a decade of professional grappling.
Meregali, meanwhile, is just entering his athletic prime. His style – particularly under the tutelage of Danaher – emphasizes control and clean technique, always with the goal of achieving the submission. To that end, he’s proven himself to be one of the world’s best finishers, whether in the gi or no-gi.
How to watch: The UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4 takes place on Thursday, June 29 and will air live on UFC Fight Pass (subscription required).