Nicholas Meregali vs. Vagner Rocha booked for WNO 23 main event

Nicholas Meregali and Vagner Rocha will clash in a heavyweight submission-only match in the main event of WNO 23.

FloGrappling’s Who’s Number One (WNO) is set to return to action on Friday, May 10, and the promotion has officially announced a headlining attraction for the event.

The main event of WNO 23 will see Nicholas Meregali put his undefeated WNO record on the line against multiple-time ADCC medalist Vagner Rocha in an intriguing heavyweight tilt.

FloGrappling announced the matchup on Instagram.

Meregali vs. Rocha

A multiple-time IBJJF gi world champion, Meregali has been largely dominant since transitioning to no-gi competition in 2022. Under the tutelage of New Wave head coach John Danaher, the Brazilian earned second in the absolute division at the 2022 ADCC World Championships and boasts notable victories over ADCC champions Felipe Pena, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Matheus Diniz, and Kaynan Duarte.

For his part, Rocha is one of the most experienced competitors on the scene today. At 41 years old, he is still among the planet’s top no-gi athletes, owning recent impressive victories over the likes of Meregali’s New Wave teammate Luke Griffith, IBJJF world champion Fellipe Andrew, and top light heavyweight Pedro Marinho.

Rocha will certainly have his hands full against Meregali, who is looking like the sport’s top heavyweight competitor at the moment. However, Rocha’s gritty wrestling, deep gas tank, and refusal to accept any position could give Meregali problems, particularly if the 15-minute match drags into the later minutes.

The rest of WNO 23

The promotion has also recently announced a number of other compelling matchups for the event, including the return of ADCC champion and former WNO champion Diogo “Baby Shark” Reis against Shay Montague, two-time ADCC champion JT Torres against B-Team standout Nicky Ryan, and recent ADCC Trials winner Jasmine Rocha against Emily Ferreira.

Check out the current WNO 23 lineup below.

  • Nicholas Meregali vs. Vagner Rocha (heavyweight)
  • Mica Galvao vs. Tommy Langaker (WNO welterweight championship)
  • Felipe Pena vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (heavyweight)
  • JT Torres vs. Nicky Ryan (welterweight)
  • Jasmine Rocha vs. Emily Ferreira (bantamweight)
  • Diogo Reis vs. Shay Montague (featherweight)

How to watch: WNO 23: Nicholas Meregali vs. Vagner Rocha takes place on Friday, May 10, and will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required).

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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