Jimenez had his work cut out for him in the previously scheduled match against Nicky Ryan. Nicky's older brother, Gordon Ryan, will be an even tougher challenge. He’s bigger, more experienced, and he hasn’t lost in more than 30 matches.
That test comes with a great potential reward.
Jimenez, the no. 1-ranked middleweight, spent all of 2020 proving he’s willing to compete against anyone, anywhere, anytime. A win over Gordon Ryan is a huge milestone for any competitor; only a small list of people can claim that feat since 2016. Jimenez has several huge wins to his name already, but this one would put him in the stratosphere.
This match will be the co-main event, with Craig Jones and Ronaldo Junior remaining the headline match. But unlike the other matchest at WNO, Ryan vs Jimenez will be a 30-minute match.
Nicky Ryan was scheduled to make his black belt debut at WNO against Jimenez, but injured his knee in training and had to pull out of the match.
Watch: Nicky Ryan Explains Why He Has To Withdraw From WNO
WNO: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior will be in Austin, Texas with no spectators. We will hold a live press conference and weigh-ins, streamed for free on FloGrappling social media platforms on Thursday, February 25.
This match will make Roberto Jimenez the first athlete to compete in four WNO events. It will be Gordon Ryan’s third appearance. Roberto is currently 2-1, with wins against Keenan Cornelius and Dante Leon, and a loss to Ryan’s DDS teammate, Craig Jones. Gordon Ryan is 2-0 on WNO, with submission wins against Kyle Boehm and Matheus Diniz.
Watch: The Ultimate Who's Number One 2020 Highlight
Both of these competitors are submission hunters. Gordon Ryan has an 80% submission rate in more than 80 career victories. Jimenez has followed suit in his 14-month black belt career; he currently has a 72% submission rate on 30 wins.
Regardless of the outcome of the match between Roberto Jimenez and Gordon Ryan, the previously scheduled match between Jimenez and Nicky Ryan remains an intriguing one. That match will be rescheduled for a future WNO.