UNLOCKED: WNO Championship

The Best Matches In WNO History

The Best Matches In WNO History

The WNO Podcast crew votes on the best WNO matches of all time heading into the WNO Championship!

Sep 13, 2021 by Michael Sears
The Best Matches In WNO History

Since the change to our current format, Who’s Number One (WNO) has put on six events and taken the grappling world by storm, quickly become the premier superfight event in the no-gi world.

On September 25th-26th, we will be hosting the WNO Championship and the winners will become our first division champions. The WNOChampionship will be paying out over $250,000 and features 40 of the most exciting grapplers in the world today.

There have been 55 matches total on WNO so far, and for the most part the action has been incredible. The crew from the WNO Podcast set out to rank the best matches of all time on the event, and this is a compilation of the votes from Reid Connell, Corey Stockton, Connor Jaschen and myself.

For a complete ranking of the most exciting matches in WNO history (in my opinion) click here.

“One of the greatest matches I’ve ever witnessed live at a jiu-jitsu event. Both these guys threw caution to the wind as soon as the ref said go. What followed was a back and forth furious match that will go down as WNO and 2021’s best match of the year.” Reid Connell

“Probably not the top spot for most people’s list, but this was fun from start to finish. Some of the best wrestling we’ve seen on WNO, technical up and comers who made it exciting to the end - finishing in one of the biggest comebacks on our matches yet.” Connor Jaschen

“This match had an enticing storyline going into it. On paper, Kade beat Ethan in the first match. But the consensus among grappling fans was that Ethan won, and it wasn't close. So Ethan was the heavy favorite going into the rematch. The match opened as a sprint, with both men going on the attack. Kade had a deep armlock early, which Ethan — unbelievable — escaped. But then, the Darce came. The setup was perfect, and the choke was a clear showstopper. For me, this match was Kade Ruotolo's breakout moment.” Corey Stockton

“Kade vs Ethan was everything you could hope for in terms of entertainment value, there wasn’t a single second in the match where I was not on the edge of my seat.” Michael Sears

Other matches receiving votes: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha | Mica Galvao vs Andrew Tackett | Tye Ruotolo vs Kody Steele | Tye Ruotolo vs William Tackett | Gordon Ryan vs Roberto Jimenez | Elisabeth Clay vs Maggie Grindatti

5: Gordon Ryan vs Matheus Diniz (October 2nd, 2020)

Gordon puts on a clinic against an ADCC champ and one of the top ranked pound-for-pound grapplers in the world. 


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4: Nathiely de Jesus vs Gabi Garcia (February 26th, 2021)

Gabi really approached this match differently than she has in the past, diving for submissions and constantly moving, and it resulted in one of the most fun matches in WNO history.


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3: Grace Gundrum vs Alex Nguyen (April 30th, 2021)

Alex surprised a lot of people by winning the first half before Grace secured the late submission victory.


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2: Damien Anderson vs Luis Quinones (May 28th, 2021)

Really back and forth, Luis came out firing and dominated the beginning before Damien turned things around and got the submission.


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1: Kade Ruotolo vs Ethan Crelinsten (April 30th, 2021)

One of the best matches of all time, and with Kade’s match with Roberto from Road to ADCC probably the best match this year on any event.


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