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Keenan Cornelius has had to pull out of Fight to Win 149 due to injury. He is replaced by 2020 IBJJF European champion Manuel Ribamar.
Ribamar will take Cornelius' place in the main event against Checkmat black belt Gabriel Almeida, and they will be supported by a stacked card including Jena Bishop vs Luiza Monteuri & Junny Ocasio vs Luas Pinheiro.
Read on to see how the FloGapping Team thinks things will shake out.
Main Event: Gabriel Almeida vs Manuel Ribamar
Reid: Ribamar to the rescue! When you need a last-minute main event replacement you can always count on the Rodrigo Pinheiro black belt to step up no matter the challenge.
Ribamar has looked great during quarantine and even won himself a Fight to Win belt just a few weeks ago against AOJ prospect Johnathan Alves. Compounding that with the fact that he already holds a win over Gabriel on the Fight to Win stage makes Ribamar a pretty safe bet.
Prediction: Manuel Ribamar via decision
Riccardo: With Keenan pulling out of this match with Gabriel I couldn't think of a better replacement than Ribamar who has become an Amazonian lapel master in his own right!
The last time these two faced off was No Gi, but the Gi with Ribimar winning. I think Ribimar is going to have to use every lapel trick to try and slow Gabriel down for this match cause Almeida's submission hunting style is very dangerous. But I think my man from Manaus wins this.
I got Ribimar winning by decision.
Chase: Ribamar leads the way 3-0 in this rivalry, and I can't see the momentum changing now.
The RPBJJ competitor has remained active throughout the shutdown, though not quite as much as Almeida, and he is a regular performer at Fight To Win. I think Riba wins this by submission.
Co-Main: Jena Bishop vs Luiza Monteiro
Reid: Luiza Monteiro has struggled on the Fight to Win stage.
While impressive on the IBJJF mats and when it counts most Luiza has won some of the biggest prizes in grappling but for whatever reason she hasn’t been able to find the same success on the Fight to Win stage.
Most recently she suffered a submission loss at the hands of Elisabeth Clay and last year at Fight to Win 117 dropped a unanimous decision to this week’s opponent Jena Bishop. It’s for these reasons that I will see Jena getting her hand raised on Friday night.
While both these girls possess the power and technique to submit the other I think Bishop has slowly but steadily been climbing her way above the other girls around her.
Prediction: Jena Bishop via decision
Michael: Luiza should be motivated coming off a submission loss to Elisabeth Clay. These two faced off all the way back at F2W 117, with Bishop coming away for the win.
This time it is for the F2W featherweight title. Even with the previous loss, Luiza should be a heavy favorite here, and I think she finds a way to the back and secures the submission.
Riccardo: This is going to be a great match. Both of these ladies are gamers and both have a ton of experience competing at Fight 2 Win. And actually have already faced off at fight to win with Jena winning that match.
I think Luiza has much more experience in general but Jena definitely knows how to win using the fight to win scoring system.
Very tough one to call but I think Luiza will be making the necessary adjustments needed to come in and win this rematch.
I think Luiza Monteiro wins this match by decision.
Chase: What a fight!
this is a rematch from Fight To Win 117 – a match that Bishop won on a razor-close judge's decision. Both athlete's games have surely evolved since then, and I'm curious to see what adjustments they have made this time around.
Luiza is a legend of the sport and multiple time World Champ – she's also stepped on the fight to Win stage a few more times since her first match with Bishop, and I believe her familiarity with the format will be significantly improved this time around.
Prediction: Luiza via decision
Must-Watch: Junny Ocasio vs Lucas Pinheiro
Reid: I’ve been watching Junny since he was a purple belt and could see how good he was back then so I’m excited to see him making waves now at black belt.
He’s had some impressive wins over the last year and recently he’s been turning it up on the Fight to Win stage.
Lucas Pinheiro is a mainstay in the rooster and light feather divisions and reaches the podium every competition he enters. This is an intriguing battle that has a little bit of the old school vs new school vibe.
While Lucas might be the more fundamentally sound grappler it’s impossible to overlook the submission threat that Junny has morphed into. This is just the beginning for Junny if he can keep stringing together these impressive wins we could be looking at a future star of the division.
Prediction: Junny Ocasio via inside heel hook
Michael: Junny is coming in hot after a couple dominant wins at F2W and WNO. He's challenging Pinheiro for the F2W title, and I think under these rules Junny holds the advantage. I have Junny winning a decision by more sub attacks and going back to NY with the belt.
Riccardo: It's been a minute since we saw Lucas compete but Junny has been very active these last few months and just keeps getting better and better. Lucas is a scrapper and this is going to be a war.
The ruleset definitely favors Junny here but I am going with Lucas.
I got Lucas Pinheiro winning by decision
Chase: This match is bananas.
Fans can expect non-stop action has both men are known for pushing the pace. A classic battle of Junny the leglocker versus Pinheiro's timeless jiu-jitsu. This is the first time we've seen Pinheiro back in action since the shutdown, and ring rust may be a factor coming into this weekend's bout.
I see Junny taking this win by decision.