Nominations: 2019 Male Grappler of the Year | FloGrappling Awards

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The following list of nominees for best Male Grappler of the Year contains some of the heaviest hitting names to ever step foot on the mat. All claimed world titles, but who impressed the most? Let us know with your vote. 

Gordon Ryan

King Ryan made good on his promise, securing double gold at ADCC in style by submitting 6/8 of his opponents on his way to the coveted titles. The feat made even more impressive given the fact that he had just returned from a serious knee injury.

Ryan also earned a notable win over Joao Gabriel Rocha at KASAI Super Series and held several wins at smaller boutique shows like Quintet. 

The king capped the year by taking on NCAA Champ Bo Nickal at Third Coast Grappling and summarily defeated him with a triangle armbar in regulation. 

2019 Accomplishments

  • ADCC World Champion: -99kg + Absolute
  • KASAI Super Series Dallas Superfight Champ
  • Quintet Ultra Champ 
  • Third Coast Grappling III - defeated Bo Nickal

Kaynan Duarte

Kaynan Duarte just had the best rookie season ever. Promoted to black belt by Andre Galvao after the 2018 World Championships, Duarte stormed the 2019 Season by taking gold in nearly every single event where he competed.

And he did it in style. 

Duarte holds incredible wins over names like Leandro Lo, Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida Joao Gabriel Rocha Rodolfo Vieira, Nicholas Meregali, Craig Jones, and many, many more. 

His list of accolades is simply absurd, and it seems like he’s just getting started. 

2019 Accomplishments

  • ADCC World Champion: +99kg
  • IBJJF World Champion - Heavyweight
  • IBJJF Pan Champion - Heavyweight
  • IBJJF European Champion - Heavyweight
  • Abu Dhabi World Pro - 94kg
  • Spyder King of Kings Champion +76kg
  • KASAI Pro 205lb Champion 

Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida

One of the few names that’s guaranteed to come up in the GOAT discussion, Buchecha secured his 13th(!!) World Title this year after taking double gold in Long Beach.

Though he may be less active than some of the competitors on this list, the sheer scope of his career and magnitude of his wins warrants him a spot on the list. 

2019 Accomplishments

  • IBJJF World Champion - Ultra-Heavy + Absolute

Nicholas Meregali

Nicholas Meregali looked untouchable for most of 2019, taking gold in impressive fashion at the 2019 World Championships, finishing Luiz Panza, Tanner Rice, Roberto Torralbas and Mahamed Aly. 

Meregali is one of the only men to defeat Kaynan Duarte this year, a feat he pulled off on his way to securing Brazilian National Gold.

2019 Accomplishments

  • 2019 IBJJF World Champion - Super Heavy
  • 2019 IBJJF Brazilian National Champion - Superheavy + Absolute
  • BJJ Stars Grand Prix Champion 
  • Third Coast Grappling II Super Fight Winner

Mikey Musumeci

The greatest American competitor to ever put a gi on, Mikey Musumeci secured his third IBJJF World title in dominant fashion after submitting Rodnei Barbosa in less than 10 seconds, the fastest submission recorded in an IBJJF World Championship final.

We would be unwise to overlook the fact that Musumeci also beat all-time great and 10x World Bruno Malfacine champ on his road to the top of the podium.

2019 Accomplishments

  • IBJJF World Champion - Roosterweight 

Matheus Gabriel

Matheus Gabriel quietly racked up one of the most seasons we saw all year. The Checkmat black belt followed up his 2018 brown belt world title by taking top honors at the Pan and World Championships - adding his name to the short list of athletes who’ve earned a world title at their first year of black belt. 

2019 Accomplishments 

  • IBJJF World Champion - Featherweight
  • IBJJF Pan Champion - Featherweight