The first-ever “Who’s #1” took place in Costa Mesa, CA this past Saturday. The event was put on by Flograppling as a way to highlight the amazing talent in the lower belts. Featuring super-fight matches between many number one ranked and top three ranked opponents from the ranking charts put on by Flograppling. In addition, the co-main event featured a showdown between the world champion Nicholas Meregali and freshman black belt stand out Victor Hugo. The main event featured the black belt debut of Roberto Jimenez and American ace Keenan Cornelius. Check out below for some of the highlight results of the event.
At blue belt Cole Abate scored a submission victory in his match via flying triangle. Cole is one of many Art of Jiu-Jitsu talents training under the watchful eyes of Rafa and Gui Mendes. Tye Ruotolo took on Johnathan Marques who was the top-ranked purple belt lightweight. Ruotolo walked away with the referee decision, this could shape out to be a fun rivalry for years to come. Micael Galvao showed why he deserved the hype he gets. The 16-year-old phenom was able to battle back after an early scare when his guard was nearly passed and back taken. Finishing with an RNC, Galvao will continue to seek out the toughest matches at purple belt.
Conor DeAngelis pitched a shutout against his opponent, showing off his well-roundedness with sweeps passes and a dominant mount. Despite a 0-0 score, Andy Muraski and Lucas Protasio put on a tough match for the audience to enjoy. Muraski walked away with the decision but, many in the audience felt it could have gone either way. Jessica Khan elevated her status even more with a nasty toehold finish her match. Yet another Art of Jiu-Jitsu prodigy, this is her first year at brown belt and is already a favorite in any bracket.
At black belt ultra-heavy bad boy Nicholas Meregali took on surging Victor Hugo. Recently Hugo won a No-Gi world title with a nasty kneebar on Cyborg. The match started with Huge electing to pull guard. The pair then found themselves in the 50/50 with Hugo attacking a toehold while Meregali searched for a way to untangle the position. Hugo would score 2 from the 50/50 on a sweep. The pair scrambled to the feet and Meregali took his turn in pulling guard, the next sequence would decide the match as Meregali swept and forced Hugo to turtle, Hugo snatched a single and defended. He would go on to win, 2-0. Keenan Cornelius was tapped to take on black belt newcomer Roberto Jimenez in his debut. In a thrilling technical match that featured lots of technical guard work, a double leg takedown by Jimenez would be the deciding moment of the match as he would go on to score a 6-4 victory in his debut.
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