Tezos WNO: Who's Next Finale

Grappling Bulletin: Gordon Ryan vs Pedro Marinho Will Be For WNO HW Title

Grappling Bulletin: Gordon Ryan vs Pedro Marinho Will Be For WNO HW Title

Fireworks went off in the Land of the Free while submissions went off in Europe. We’ve got results, plus some big news about Gordon Ryan vs Pedro Marinho.

Jul 5, 2022 by Hywel Teague
Grappling Bulletin: Gordon Ryan vs Pedro Marinho Will Be For WNO HW Title

America’s birthday weekend doesn’t get as much attention in other parts of the world. While fireworks went off in the Land of the Free, there were two major events in Europe: London played host to RAW grappling and Honor Submission Challenge took place in Italy. 

We’ve got match results and more, plus some big news about the upcoming match between Gordon Ryan and Pedro Marinho. Make sure to join us for the live studio show at 3pm CT and join in the conversation via our YouTube live chat. 

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Grappling News Round-Up 

Read on for a breakdown of the major news stories from around the world of jiu-jitsu and grappling. 

Hulk Wins at RAW Grappling, MMA Next?

  • Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa defended his title belt with a submission win against Thomas Bracher of Gracie Barra. Hulk utilized his trademark powerful wrestling to play from top and finish the match with a creative triangle-armlock from the back. He revealed in his post-match interview that he may squeeze an MMA fight with PFL prior to ADCC in September.  
  • Ffion Davies dominated the last-minute replacement Vitoria Vieira, submitting her with an armbar in approximately eight minutes. Davis was originally scheduled to face off with Bianca Basilio, but that match fell though and is likely to go down in September at ADCC. 
  • One of Britain’s top black belts, Ashley Williams outworked the durable and wily Thiago Macedo, almost catching him in a number of tight submission attacks but ultimately winning by decision in a one-sided performance. 
  • Diego "Pato" Oliveira earned a decision against Ethan Crelinsten in one of those extremely close matches that actually suffered from being submission-only. With relatively little significant action, nobody would’ve been disappointed (except for Pato) if this has been called a draw. It goes to show how evenly-matched the competitors are in the ADCC -66 kg division.

RAW Grappling's second event further established them as a player on the European scene, showcasing the best of British black belts while also bringing in world-class talent. 

Watch match videos here

Find results here

Mica, Pena and Andrey Victorious at Honor Submission Challenge 

  • Felipe Pena showcased the smooth no-gi grappling skills he is known for by winning the Honor Submission Challenge 4-man heavyweight bracket. He had a quick win over unranked Italian opponent Manuel Plito in his opening match before facing off with Vagner Rocha in the final. Pena submitted Rocha from the back in overtime although, not much happened during the regulation period as Penna played exclusively from bottom and seemed unable to apply any effective techniques against his opponent.  
  • Mica Galvao barely broke a sweat in his two matches, finishing Jack Tyley via RNC and following it up with a win against Jed Hue in the final of the four-man bracket, tapping out the Englishman with a triangle armlock from the back. 
  • Fabricio Andrey competed in a round-robin division of three and earned two submission victories, including a mounted triangle and an armbar against his British and Italian opponents Jack Sear and Alessio Sacchetti.

Watch match videos here

Find results here

New Wave Score UFC Invitational Prize

Anthony Pettis's team, composed entirely of New Wave representatives, cleaned up at the UFC Invitational. Big Dan Manasoiu, Giancarlo Bodoni, Oliver Taza and Christos Papadelos won the prize going up against teams featuring the likes of 10th Planet ADCC competitors PJ Barch, Andy Varela and Kyle Boehm, and former Penn state wrestler Bo Nickal, B-Team's Jay Rodriguez and more, 

Dream Art to open a new facility in USA

  • Less than a year after officially establishing themselves as an independent team, the São Paulo-based Dream Art have joined forces with Aspire to Inspire / Javier Gomez Academy to open a new location in Houston. 
  • Team co-founder Isaque Bahiense has openly discussed his team's plans for worldwide expansion. Headquartered in Brazil and with a number of of the world‘s top competitors among their ranks, Dream Art looks set to follow in the footsteps of other major associations by going international. 
  • Since the IBJJF World Championships in June, Bahiense has been seen in locations including North America and Switzerland, hinting at efforts to establish a presence in these countries. 
  • This would technically be Dream Art's second location in Texas following that of Igor Schneider's San Antonio gym, "Asa by Dream Art", their first ever affiliate. 
  • It is to be determined who will act as head coach and which athletes will be based out of the Houston gym, which is expected to open in August 2022.

Melqui Galvao Signs with Commando Group  

  • Following a two-year relationship with UAE-based team Al-Wahda, Melqui Galvao's Fight Sports Club from Manaus has signed on to represent the powerhouse Commando Group out of Abu Dhabi. 
  • A military facility where Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes train and compete full-time, the Commando Group is one of the top teams in Abu Dhabi. Galvao's athletes will represent Commando Group when competing in UAEJJF or AJP Tour events, but will continue to compete as Fight Sports Club in all other events. 
  • "Happy to announce that during the next season we will represent the Commando Group team in AJP Tour and UAEJJF competitions," wrote Galvao on Instagram. "Thank you for the opportunity Professor Thiago Barreto, and my friend Ribamar Santiago. We represented the club Al-Wahda for two years, always doing our best and helping the club to win great titles. Thanks for everything but now it's time for a new challenge." 
  • Galvao's athletes Diogo Reis, Mica Galvao, Luiz Paulo and Brenda Larissa are all UAEJJF World Pro champions, titles conquered while representing Al-Wahda.

Gordon Ryan and Pedro Marinho Will Compete for WNO Heavyweight Title

It's been brought up in interviews but it's time to make it official. The winner of Gordon Ryan and Pedro Marinho will walk away with the WNO heavyweight title belt around their waist. 

There was one match that should’ve taken place at the Who’s Next finale on July 14. Everybody expected to see rival team coaches Craig Jones and Tim Spriggs face off in the culmination of their season-long rivalry. Craig had taunted Spriggs throughout the filming of the show in the hope of provoking him into a match, while Spriggs had counted by saying a match with Jones was beneath him as heavyweight champion. While Jones certainly got under his skin, Spriggs stuck to his guns and refused to sign on the dotted line to face the Aussie. 

Spriggs wanted a match with Gordon Ryan instead, and even named Andre Galvao as an opponent he felt worthy of his attention. But when presented with the opportunity to face off with Ryan, Spriggs would not move ahead and discuss terms. 

Holding a title belt is not enough – a champion must defend their title, and Spriggs wouldn't do so within a calendar year of claiming the strap (he won the belt in September of 2021). As a result, the belt has been declared vacant and will be disputed by Gordon Ryan and Pedro Marinho on July 14. 

Marinho became the WNO light-heavyweight champ following a decision win against Craig Jones back in January. Ryan, despite his perfect 5-0 WNO record, holds no official title in the organization. 

The match offers Marinho the opportunity to join Tye Ruotolo in becoming the second ever WNO champ-champ. Ruotolo currently holds the 170 and 185lb titles, and Marinho has said that if he is successful against Ryan he would even consider cutting weight in an attempt to become the first ever three-division champion. 

So where does this leave Spriggs? Truthfully, nobody is really sure of his intentions as he seems to have shifted his focus to pro wrestling. He is scheduled to compete at ADCC in September and could potentially face Jones in the -99kg division, but beyond that nobody is really sure exactly what the 31-year-old’s long-term grappling plans are.  

Spriggs’ impressive win at the WNO Championship tournament will never be taken away from him, and he will go down as the first ever holder of the WNO heavyweight title belt. And should he decide to return, potential matches with the new title holder could await him.