The Who’s Number One Championship has filled their 185lb bracket with eight of the best athletes in the game, announcing the completion of the division a few days ago.
Excitement for the 185lb bracket first kicked up when ADCC 2019 silver medalist Craig Jones was announced as the first competitor in the division. Jones, of course, recently made it known that he would be among the athletes forming “The B-Team” in Austin, TX, alongside Ethan Crelinsten, Nicky Ryan, and Nicky Rodriguez.
The second athlete announced for the bracket was Tye Ruotolo, who indeed faced Jones in the main event of June’s WNO: Jones vs. Ruotolo. Though Ruotolo lost that particular contest, his previous WNO appearance (against fellow 185lb division competitor William Tackett) saw him take home the win.
Tackett, for his part, has been challenging himself recently against some of the top athletes in the sport — a tendency that’s nothing new for the young black belt. Although Tackett has taken a few losses recently, he raised eyebrows around the jiu-jitsu world when he defeated Rousimar Palhares at BJJ Bet: Who’s Next at the beginning of August.
Among the competitors who will be looking to outclass Tackett in a potential rematch in this bracket is Andrew Wiltse, who suffered a loss to Tackett in the finals of Sub Spectrum last year. Since then, though, Wiltse has won the overwhelming majority of his matches, including an undefeated streak at WNO that most recently includes a victory against Gabriel Almeida.
Roberto Jimenez is another WNO regular who will be on the card, coming off a successful performance at Polaris Squads 3 in which he became one of three competitors who scored points for Team USA. Jimenez also dropped jaws with a win in an action-packed match against Kade Ruotolo at the Road to ADCC in July. It’s no surprise that many fans will see him as a favorite in this stacked bracket.
10th Planet standout and 2019 ADCC veteran Jon Blank will be making his WNO return as well following his promotional debut last year against Vagner Rocha. Blank competed on Team USA alongside Jimenez at Polaris Squads 3, but at the WNO Championship, teammates will become rivals. Blank’s opponents will be well-advised to take care of their legs in this event, as he’s known for his inside heel hooks that have taken out opponents like Manuel Ribamar and Adam Wardzinski.
Returning for his fourth WNO event will be Dante Leon, who most recently went up against Nicky Ryan in a tough match at the Road to ADCC. The 2019 No-Gi World Champion has picked up a number of impressive wins over the past year, including a triangle choke against Johnny Tama at F2W 142, and he also picked up a WNO win against Kody Steele in 2020. Having lost against Jimenez at his last WNO appearance, Leon’s participation in this bracket opens up the opportunity for yet another exciting rematch.
Completing the bracket is the addition of Micael Galvao, who just recently earned his black belt at age 17. The young prodigy has become a sensation in the WNO competitive scene and beyond, first defeating Oliver Taza at WNO: Jones vs. Ruotolo back in June and, more recently, submitting Pedro Marinho in the finals of 3CG 7 to win the $15,000 grand prize. Galvao may not have as extensive of a resume as some of his fellow competitors in this bracket, but he’s steadily building one.
This marks the third division that’s been released for the WNO Championship, with the 115lb and 155lb divisions being announced in July. Best of all, there are still more brackets to come.