On Sunday, September 26, the Who’s Number One (WNO) Championships finals took place from Austin, TX. The finals were the culmination of five, eight-person brackets consisting of the best submission-only grapplers in the world. The quarterfinals and the semifinals were 15-minute submission-only matches, and the finals were 30-minute matches.
View the full WNO Championships finals results and highlights below.
Men’s heayvweight final:
Tim Spriggs def. Kaynan Duarte via submission (heel hook)
In what was perhaps the biggest upset in a weekend filled with upsets, Tim Spriggs returned from a semi-retirement to defeat the heavily favored Kaynan Duarte. Duarte pulled guard early and often, working a single leg x game early, clearly looking to get underneath Spriggs, likely to attack the legs. Just several minutes into the match, Spriggs attacked his own leg lock from top half-guard, transitioning to a classic outside heel hook, securing the tap and a major upset of the top Atos representative.
Women’s heavyweight final:
Rafaela Guedes def. Kendall Reusing via submission (mounted guillotine)
Rafaela Guedes and Kendall Reusing didn’t waste any time, scrambling and attacking in the early moments. Reusing was favored by the judges through the first ten minutes on the strength of her consistent top control and relentless pace. But with just a little over 11 minutes remaining the match, Guedes countered a body lock pass from Reusing with a chinstrap guillotine. Guedes committed to the guillotine, using it to mount where she would secure the tap.
Tye Ruotolo def. Mica Galvao via split decision
In a surprising turn of events, teenage grappling phenoms Tye Ruotolo of Atos and Mica Galvao of Fight Sports had a cautious, uneventful 30-minute match. After minutes of inactivity and hand fighting on the feet, both grapplers were given a penalty for passivity. Eventually, Galvao sat to his back, while Ruotolo cautiously attempted to pass on the outside, unwilling to enter clear traps set by Galvao. In the final ten minutes, Galvao pulled closed guard, but not much action happened there either, outside of Ruotolo consistently applying a smother to Galvao. Ultimately, it was Ruotolo’s aggression that earned him a split decision.
Mayssa Bastos def. Grace Gundrum via unanimous decision
Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Mayssa Bastos solidified her status as the top strawweight competitor in the world with a competitive but decisive victory over 10th Planet’s Grace Gundrum. Bastos was able to find Gundrum’s back early and hold the position for minutes before Gundrum escaped. Through much of the middle of the match, Bastos played from open guard, forced to defend Gundrum’s relentless passing attempts. Gundrum’s passing efforts earned her the judges’ favor with ten minutes remaining. In the final five minutes, Bastos turned up the aggression once more, sweeping to top position where she was able to pass to mount and an arm triangle that she held for nearly four full minutes to end the match.
Kade Ruotolo def. Gabriel Sousa via submission (d’arce choke)
The lightweight final was a trademark Kade Ruotolo performance, as the Atos brown belt made relatively quick work of ZR Team’s Gabriel Sousa. Ruotolo was aggressive and fearless with his wrestling early, finding top position where he worked to pass. Just over five minutes into the match, Sousa turtled up in an attempt to prevent the guard pass. Ruotolo jumped on the opportunity, wrapping up a d’arce choke. Sousa gamely defended the choke for an impressive amount of time, but was ultimately forced to tap about seven minutes in.