Tim Spriggs stripped of WNO title, Gordon Ryan vs. Pedro Marinho now for heavyweight belt

Last September, Tim Spriggs surprised fans around the world when he competed in and won the heavyweight division at the Who’s Number One (WNO) championships, quickly submitting Kaynan Duarte in the final to capture the inaugural WNO heavyweight title.

Spriggs has now been stripped of that title, and the scheduled match between Gordon Ryan and Pedro Marinho has been elevated to a heavyweight championship match. The news was announced by FloGrappling’s Michael Sears.

Earlier this year, Spriggs told Grappling Insider that after he won the WNO heavyweight belt he actively sought out a match against Ryan, but was rebuffed. For his part, Ryan has maintained that it was Spriggs that refused the match.

For Marinho, this will be a chance to capture his second WNO belt. In January, Marinho defeated former Ryan teammate Craig Jones to win the light heavyweight strap.

After a months-long hiatus from competition in 2021 due to health issues, Ryan returned to action late last year to face UFC welterweight and BJJ brown belt Phillip Rowe in an “exhibition” match. In March of this year, Ryan faced another brown belt, Jacob “The Hillbilly Hammer” at WNO, defeating him by submission.

How to watch: Ryan and Marinho are slated to face each other at Who’s Number One on Thursday, July 14. The event 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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