WNO: Night of Champions results, recap, and highlights

View the full results, recap, and highlights from WNO: Night of Champions, which saw Gordon Ryan defend his title in the main event.

Five Who’s Number One (WNO) championship belts were up for grabs at WNO: Night of Champions, which took place on Sunday, October 1, in Houston, Texas.

Gordon Ryan cruises against Patrick Gaudio

In the main event, massive favorite Gordon Ryan, riding a years-long winning streak, dominated and submitted former foe Patrick Gaudio to successfully defend his WNO heavyweight crown.

The New Wave representative’s top pressure and guard passing were on full display throughout the match, scheduled for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes of methodical, suffocating work from the top position, Ryan latched onto and finished an armbar to bring an end to the one-sided contest.

A multiple-time ADCC world champion, Ryan’s victory over Gaudio extends his run of dominance – albeit against an opponent outside of the heavyweight top-10. For his part, Gaudio came into the bout riding a three-match losing streak, two of which had come by submission.

Elisabeth Clay, Nathiely De Jesus claim WNO titles

Lower on the card, Elisabeth Clay and Nathiely De Jesus each captured belts in close and competitive matches.

First, Clay took on ADCC silver medalist Brianna Ste-Marie for the vacant 145-pound WNO title. Each woman enjoyed moments of success throughout the contest, with Ste-Marie working her pressure passing game early against the flexible submission hunter in Clay. But it was Clay’s work from the top position – something fans don’t often see – that ultimately earned her the decision victory.

The Ares BJJ athlete is enjoying a banner year in 2023 thus far, with wins over ADCC champions Ffion Davies and Amy Campo, a gold-medal performance at the IBJJF gi Pans, and now a win over the always dangerous Ste-Marie.

Also, multiple-time IBJJF world champion Nathiely De Jesus made her WNO return and picked up a hard-fought, back-and-forth victory over defending champion Rafaela Guedes to secure the WNO heavyweight title.

De Jesus attacked well from both her closed and open guard, and nearly secured Guedes’ back at one point in the scrappy, high-paced encounter. Ultimately, it was De Jesus’ aggression and sweeps that secured her the decision win over the ADCC silver medalist.

Although she has focused primarily on gi competition lately, De Jesus looked to be in top form against one of the sport’s best no-gi grapplers, and she could be in prime position for a championship run at the 2024 ADCC World Championships.

Diogo Reis, Mica Galvao shine in thrilling four-man brackets

Team Melqui Galvao athletes put on stellar performances, with Diogo “Baby Shark” Reis and Mica Galvao both securing WNO titles after each winning talent-rich four-man brackets.

In the 145-pound division, Reis was put to the test against 10th Planet black belt Keith Krikorian in the opening round. While Krikorian enjoyed moments of success attacking Reis’ legs, it was the Brazilian’s vaunted wrestling, guard passing, and back-taking game that earned him the decision victory in one of the evening’s most entertaining affairs.

And in the tournament final, Reis again employed excellent guard passing against Essential Jiu-Jitsu’s Gabriel Sousa, who had defeated Ash Williams via kneebar in the semifinals. Several clean passes and near back-takes would earn “Baby Shark” the decision victory and the WNO 145-pound title, further solidifying his status as the world’s top featherweight competitor.

Meanwhile, Galvao impressed in the 170-pound division. In his opening match, the 19-year-old went to war with The B-Team’s Jay Rodriguez, finding himself in wild scrambles and explosive wrestling exchanges over the course of 15 minutes. But despite Rodriguez’s best efforts, it was Galvao who achieved the best positions, as well as a near armbar that Rodriguez miraculously escaped. That work earned Galvao the decision in the high-paced encounter, which should be a contender for Match of the Year.

The tournament final saw Galvao square off with 10th Planet’s PJ Barch. Barch dropped a hard-fought decision to Andrew Tackett in the semifinals, but when Tackett was unable to continue due to injury, Barch stepped up.

An early clash of heads seemed to daze Barch, forcing a brief pause in the action. Just seconds after the match re-started, Galvao jumped onto a trademark flying armbar, securing the submission and the 170-pound WNO belt.

The reigning ADCC 77kg silver medalist, Galvao looked a step ahead of the competition and is undoubtedly targeting a rematch against former foe Kade Ruotolo at the 2024 ADCC World Championships.

Check out the full event results below.

WNO: Night of Champions results

  • Gordon Ryan def. Patrick Gaudio via armbar (WNO heayvweight championship)
  • Nathiely De Jesus def. Rafaela Guedes via decision (WNO heavyweight championship)
  • Elisabeth Clay def. Brianna Ste-Marie via decision (WNO featherweight championship)
  • Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Riccardo Evangelista via triangle choke

WNO Featherweight championship tournament:

  • Diogo Reis def. Keith Krikorian via decision (semifinal)
  • Gabriel Sousa def. Ash Williams via kneebar (semifinal)
  • Diogo Reis def. Gabrial Sousa via decision (WNO featherweight championship)

WNO welterweight championship tournament:

  • Mica Galvao def. Jay Rodriguez via decision (semifinal)
  • Andrew Tackett def. PJ Barch via decision (semifinal – Tackett withdrew from final due to injury)
  • Mica Galvao def. PJ Barch via armbar (WNO welterweight championship)

Undercard:

  • Thaynara Victoria def. Tiffany Butler via ankle lock
  • Steffan Banta def. Thomas Bracher via reverse triangle choke

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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