WNO 21: Pedro Marinho vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. full card line-up and preview

Check out the full card line-up and preview for WNO 21: Marinho vs Lovato Jr., set for Thursday, November 30.

FloGrappling’s Who’s Number One (WNO) returns to action this Thursday, November 30, with yet another stacked card from top to bottom.

After the withdrawal of Gordon Ryan due to injury, the WNO Light Heavyweight Championship tilt between champion Pedro Marinho vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. has been elevated to the main event. Stepping in on short notice to take on Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa will be Ryan’s New Wave teammate Giancarlo Bodoni.

WNO 21 full card line-up

  • Light Heavyweight WNO Championship Bout – Pedro Marinho (C) vs Rafael Lovato Jr.
  • Welterweight WNO Championship Bout – Mica Galvao (C) vs Kody Steele
  • Featherweight WNO Championship Bout – Diogo ‘Baby Shark’ Reis (C) vs Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira
  • Heavyweight Bout – Giancarlo Bodoni vs Lucas Barbosa
  • Middleweight Bout – Tainan Dalpra vs Troy Russell
  • Women’s Featherweight Bout – Helena Crevar vs Julia Maele
  • Heavyweight Bout – Luke Griffith vs Roosevelt Souza
  • Prelim Featherweight Bout – Owen Jones vs Dominic Mejia
  • Prelim Lightweight Bout – Estevan Martinez vs Reese Lefever
  • Prelim Welterweight Bout – Ian Butler vs Nick Mataya
  • Prelim Women’s Strawweight Bout – Mia Funegra vs Janice Russell

Pedro Marinho vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. 

Pedro Marinho, the #1 light heavyweight grappler in FloGrappling’s rankings, will look to make the second defense of his WNO light heavyweight title against Rafael Lovato Jr. The bout was originally supposed to happen in early October but was postponed due to a last-minute withdrawal by Marinho. Lovato Jr. would stay on the card and submit late replacement Ricardo Evangelista via triangle choke.

This could be classified as one of those “old school vs. new school” matchups. 

Marinho is as dynamic as they come. A well-rounded bruiser with excellent passing skills and a crazy pace, Marinho has defeated some of the top no-gi grapplers in the world including Giancarlo Bodoni, Jay Rodriguez, and Craig Jones on the way to his WNO Light Heavyweight Championship.

Needing no introduction, Rafael Lovato Jr. is a legend in the sport who has transitioned back to submission grappling full-time after a successful run in MMA. He is fresh off two submission victories in WNO and is hungry to add another title to his extensive resume. 

Fans can look forward to a lot of wrestling in this matchup. Neither grappler is likely to give the other top position. It will be interesting to see which fighter, if either, would be willing to pull guard and play off his back.

Mica Galvao vs Kody Steele

Young superstar Mica Galvao will look to make the first defense of his WNO welterweight title against the always-exciting WNO veteran Kody Steele. They are truly two of the most exciting grapplers in the world.

Galvao is fresh off winning the WNO welterweight title at WNO 20 where he defeated Jay Rodriguez and PJ Barch back-to-back. He received submission of the night honors for his armbar victory over Barch. He also holds victories over Dante Leon, Renato Canuto, and Oliver Taza. The 20-year-old phenom is known for having some of the most dynamic submissions in the sport.

Kody Steele has recently made the transition to MMA where he is thriving. However, before this, he made a name for himself in grappling, widely regarded as one of the most exciting grapplers to watch. Known for huge slams and insane scrambles, Steele is must-see television whenever he steps on the mat.

Fans are in for a treat with this one. This matchup promises to be fifteen minutes of fury. Expect big slams, wild scrambles, and a blistering pace for however long it lasts.

Diogo “Baby Shark” Reis vs. Diego “Pato” Oliveira

Diogo “Baby Shark” Reis is looking to make the first defense of his WNO Featherweight title as he meets rival Diego “Pato” Oliveira. These two have battled in high-profile matches in various rulesets both in gi and no-gi. They will look to settle the score once and for all on November 30.

This rivalry has been closely contested over the last couple of years. In 2022, they met in the ADCC South American Trials finals. Reis would win this match via referee’s decision after overtime. They both finished on the ADCC podium that year as Reis won the tournament and Oliveira won bronze.

This year they fought in the IBJJF Pans finals with “Baby Shark” winning the match on advantages. “Pato” has defeated “Baby Shark” at the last two years’ IBJJF World Championships, including this year where Oliveira took gold.

Every time these two fierce competitors step on the mat with one another it is a highly competitive bout and fans should expect the same in this bout with WNO gold on the line. 

The rest of the card at WNO 21

Prior to the three amazing title fights that headline this card WNO 21 is loaded with interesting matchups including Giancarlo Bodoni and Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa renewing their own rivalry on just a week’s notice.

Barbosa and Bodoni have squared off six times with “Hulk” winning four of their matches. However, the most recent match – and arguably the most important – was won by Bodoni when he submitted Barbosa in the ADCC finals. They now look to settle the score and put an end to one of the fiercest rivalries in recent history.

Gi wizard Tainan Dalpra makes his black belt no-gi debut when he takes on upset-minded Troy Russell in a middleweight bout. It will be very interesting to see how Dalpra’s game transitions to no-gi. Look for Russell to try to test Dalpra’s leg lock defense.

New Wave Phenom Helena Crevar returns to the WNO stage to take on ADCC veteran Julia Maele. Crevar has been on an absolute tear collecting wins in various organizations including WNO. Her teammate Luke Griffith takes on Roosevelt Silva in a heavyweight bout, and on the early prelims, recent breakthrough standouts from ADCC Trials Owen Jones takes on Dominic Mejia.

How to watch: WNO: Meregali vs. Duarte takes place on Thursday, November 30, and will air live on FloGrappling beginning at 8:00 PM ET. The undercard will air on FloGrappling’s YouTube channel for free, and the main card will air exclusively on FloGrappling (subscription required).