The fallout from Nicholas Meregali’s disciplinary disqualification from the 2021 IBJJF Worlds continues. Victor Hugo — the man that Meregali was facing when he gave the finger to someone in the audience — didn’t take kindly to Meregali’s reaction to the disqualification and is now offering to face Meregali in an MMA fight.
Briefly, here’s how we got here. At the 2021 Worlds, Meregali won three matches in the absolute division, including a hard-fought victory over Hugo, to earn his spot in the absolute finals against rival Felipe Pena. It would be one of the year’s most anticipated matches in IBJJF competition.
In the ultra-heavy division, Meregali won his first match, submitting Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. In the semifinals, Meregali again faced and beat Hugo again, but during that match, Meregali made an obscene gesture to someone in the crowd. After the match, Meregali was disqualified from the competition. And while the absolute final was canceled altogether, Hugo was permitted to advance to the final of the ultra-heavy division where he would defeat Max Gimenis.
Meregali then made a statement about the disqualification and the IBJJF’s handling of his situation. (Read that full statement here). In it, Meregali stated that the punishment was too harsh and that Hugo should not have been permitted to continue to compete in the ultra-heavy final.
You’re aware of your public and you know very well what you did and that being said , you should’ve been DQ from out match RIGHT WAY according to the RULES , if there are rules the organization (@ibjjf) it’s there to exercise them and your action it was considered a serious one. I’m not there to judge or do anything less than fight when I’m asked to( and that’s what I did in the finals).
So if you feel like doing a FIGHT in a environment where are less or no RULES , which would be a cage I am all in for that. In that same situation you would be allowed to behave however you feel and hardly anything wouldn’t be allowed , as far as Jiu-Jitsu under the federation of @ibjjf you did beat me fair and square during absolute but in our division you lost bat DQ and have no right or whatsoever on decide who should be the winner of the ultra-heavy weight division that being said , I am the 2021 Ultra heavy world champion , even if you , your fans or other people agree or not , I never asked for that , you did that yourself and @ibjjf was there to exercise their job as a SERIOUS federation.
“So if you feel like doing a FIGHT in a environment where are less or no RULES, which would be a cage I am all in for that,” wrote Hugo, alluding to an MMA bout against Meregali.
For what its worth, neither man has any known history competing or training in MMA. With that said, Meregali may have come out of the 2021 Worlds with a new rival in Hugo, and whether they compete in BJJ or MMA, there is now an added element of drama.