On Friday, June 18, Who’s Number One (WNO) will return with what might be it’s best card of 2021. In the main event, Craig Jones will headline his second consecutive WNO show as he takes on teenage jiu-jitsu prodigy Tye Ruotolo. And in the co-main event, Mikey Musumeci will look to continue his tear through the no-gi world when he meets experienced submission-only no-gi competitor Junny Ocasio.
Check out the full WNO card line-up, preview, and betting odds (courtesy Fight to Win sportsbook) below.
Main card (FloGrappling)
Craig Jones vs. Tye Ruotolo: In light of his teammate Gordon Ryan’s sudden departure from competition, Jones now finds himself on the cusp of being known as the top no-gi grappler in the world. To do that, he’ll need to get through Atos standout Ruotolo. Although Jones is a sizable favorite, the match should be close and competitive.
Ruotolo has shown superb leg lock defense in his young career, and looked nothing short of dominant against William Tackett in his last WNO outing. Look for Ruotolo to test his strength against Jones’ strength, as he will likely wade into the fire that is Jones’ vaunted open guard. If Ruotolo is able to avoid Jones’ leg attacks, he might be able to get his guard passing and d’arce attacks going, which could lead to a long and competitive match.
Mikey Musumeci vs. Junny Ocasio: In his third no-gi match this year, Musumeci will be taking on a bona-fide submission-only expert in Ocasio. In his last outing, Musumeci showed he’s plenty competent in the leg game, as he secured a lighting-quick heel hook on Lucas Pinheiro. Ocasio is himself a dangerous leg locker, and his scramble-heavy style of grappling could give the control-based Musumeci problems. Still, Musumeci has looked unstoppable in his current no-gi run, and his game seems to have translated perfectly well from the gi to no-gi.
Rafaela Gueddes vs. Erin Harpe: A brown belt world champion and a 2020 no-gi Pans absolute champion as a black belt, it’s unsurprising that Atos representative Rafaela Gueddes is a large favorite over Erin Harpe. Gueddes is coming off an impressive performance at Subversiv 5 in which she defeated fellow elite black belts Maggie Grindatti and Nathalie Ribeiro. Harpe has a victory of her own against Grindatti — a match in which she largely dominated with pace, pressure, and quality wrestling. If Harpe is able to use her pace and physicality, she could slow down Gueddes, who has looked like one of the best grapplers on the planet over the past year.
Kade Ruotolo vs. Cole Franson: The twin brother to headliner Tye, Kade Ruotolo is coming off one of the best performances of his career when he submitted Ethan Crelinsten at the last WNO. He’ll look to keep the ball rolling against Cole Franson, an accomplished IBJJF competitor with experience in the submission-only ruleset. Franson is coming off a decision loss to Thiago Macedo earlier this year.
Andrew Wiltse vs. Gabriel Almeida: Daisy Fresh’s team leader Andrew Wiltse gets a much-deserved step up in competition when he squares off with top Checkmat representative Gabriel Almeida. Wiltse has impressed in WNO competition so far this year with wins over PJ Barch and David Garmo; he’ll try to implement his hyper-aggressive guard passing and back-taking game against one of the stingiest competitors on the circuit in Gabriel Almeida. Almeida is always defensively sound, and will look to use his tricky guard game to frustrate Wiltse the longer the match goes on. Wiltse is the favorite for good reason, but Almeida has the ability to make this a nip-tuck affair.
Micael Galvao vs. Oliver Taza: In what might the most interesting match of the night, Danaher Death Squad representative Oliver Taza looks to extend his WNO winning streak against Brazilian uber-prospect Micael Galvao. Galvao impressed in his WNO debut, largely dominating fellow teenage prodigy Andrew Tackett. He gets a massive step up in competition against Taza, who is a leg lock specialist with rapidly-improving wrestling and guard passing, and is an experienced submission-only competitor. This match has fireworks written all over it, and will tell us plenty about where Galvao stands at this point in his young career.
Prelims (FloGrappling’s YouTube and Facebook)
Haisam Rida vs. Miha Perhavec: Keenan Cornelius‘ first-ever black belt, Polaris veteran Miha Perhavec, will take on Haisam Rida. Rida is coming off a decision win over Perhavec’s teammate, Sloan Clymer.
Jessie Crane vs. Danielle Kelly: Jessie Crane is a 19-year old brown belt that is coming off a gold medal performance at the 2021 no-gi Pans. Danielle Kelly will be looking to get back into the win column after a February 2021 decision loss to Jessa Khan.
Kody Steele vs. Philip Rowe: In the night’s first match, current UFC welterweight Philip Rowe takes on WNO, Fight to Win, and Third Coast Grappling veteran Kody Steele.
How to watch: WNO takes place on Friday, June 18, and the main card will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required).