Tainan Dalpra booked for no-gi debut against Troy Russell

Two-time gi world champion Tainan Dalpra will make his no-gi debut against Troy Russell on November 30 at WNO 21.

One of jiu-jitsu’s top gi competitors of the past decade will soon make his long-awaited no-gi debut.

On November 30, at Who’s Number One (WNO) 21, two-time IBJJF world champion Tainan Dalpra will square off with Troy Russell in a 15-minute submission-only matchup.

FloGrappling announced the bout on Instagram.

With a black belt record of 71-2 and gold medal performances at every major IBJJF tournament, Dalpra has firmly established himself as one of the top pound-for-pound gi competitors in the world. The Art of Jiu-Jitsu representative has lost just one time in IBJJF competition – a narrow defeat to Jansen Gomes in the final of the 2023 IBJJF Worlds.

Dalpra arguably possesses the best guard passing in all of gi jiu-jitsu, showcasing the trademark AoJ style at the highest levels. Much more than just a top control specialist, the 22-year-old is also an accomplished submission hunter with a 73 percent submission rate across all of his black belt matches.

Russell, meanwhile, is significantly less known but is certainly no stranger to the no-gi scene. A black belt under Rafael Lovato Jr., Russell is a two-time WNO veteran, sporting a submission win over Austin Oranday and a submission loss against Andrew Tackett

Russell is a skilled leg locker who will certainly look to test Dalpra in that department.

How to watch: WNO 21 takes place on Thursday, November 30, 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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