On October 1, 2023, FloGrappling organized the stacked 4-man tournament in Houston, Texas where top grapplers faced off at Tezos WNO 20: Night of Champions. Grapplers competed for the welterweight title at WNO.
The main event highlighted the historical Gordon Ryan’s battle against Patrick Gaudio. A superfight was also reported between the legendary athletes including Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Ricardo Evangelista.
At WNO 20, BJJ’s most skilled competitor Gordon Ryan returned in a stacked card. Gordon’s return to competition clearly represents the actual meaning of Night of Champions. It was the first time when Gordon Ryan stepped out to compete this year.
Before this, Gordon Ryan fought against Nicky Rodriguez in 2023 at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3. Although Gordon won the match in EBI overtime he sustained some injuries as Nicky managed to attack his foot.
Table of Contents
- 1. Main Card
- 1.1. Gordon Ryan vs Patrick Gaudio - Heavyweight Championship
- 1.2. Rafaela Guedes (C) vs Nathiely de Jesus – Women’s Heavyweight Championship
- 1.3. Mica Galvao vs PJ Barch - Men's Welterweight Championship
- 1.4. Diogo Reis vs Gabriel Sousa - Featherweight Championship
- 1.5. Elisabeth Clay vs. Brianna Ste-Marie - Women's Featherweight Championship
- 1.6. PJ Barch vs Andrew Tackett - Welterweight Championship Semi-Final
- 1.7. Mica Galvao vs Jay Rodriguez - Welterweight Championship Semi-Final
- 1.8. Ash Williams vs Gabriel Sousa - Featherweight Championship Semi-Final
- 1.9. Diogo Reis vs Keith Krikorian - Featherweight Championship Semi-Final
- 1.10. Rafael Lovato Jr. vs Riccardo Evangelista - Heavyweight Bout
- 2. Undercard
1. Main Card
1.1. Gordon Ryan vs Patrick Gaudio - Heavyweight Championship
In the Heavyweight Championship, Gordon Ryan defeated Patrick Gaudio by armbar. Although both showed phenomenal grappling skills, Ryan systematically dismantled Patrick Gaudio’s defenses and passed his guard with extreme pressure. When Gaudio tried to recover during the match, Ryan skillfully transitioned to the mount position. Finally, Gordon Ryan got the back control position and won with the match-ending armbar. Gordon Ryan was declared the winner of the WNO Men’s Heavyweight Championship belt.
1.2. Rafaela Guedes (C) vs Nathiely de Jesus – Women’s Heavyweight Championship
In the Women’s Heavyweight Championship, Nathiely de Jesus used smart tactics to dominate her opponent. She employed some strategies including knee shield, and guard pulling. She also carried out off-balance sweeps and placed pressure on Guedes to force her to turtle guard. But she was unable to secure Guedes’ back. Guedes also tried to move closer to Nathiely’s back but failed. Based on the referee's decision, Nathaniel got the winning title and emerged as the new WNO Women’s Heavyweight Champion.
1.3. Mica Galvao vs PJ Barch - Men's Welterweight Championship
In the WNO Men’s Welterweight Championship, Mica Galvao defeated PJ Barch in a specific way. Immediately after a brief heads clash, Mica executed a surprising flying armbar that resulted in his victory.
1.4. Diogo Reis vs Gabriel Sousa - Featherweight Championship
In the Featherweight Championship, Diogo Reis got victory over Gabriel Sousa by successfully controlling the standing battle. Reis amazingly managed to sustain the top position on the ground. He also switched to side control multiple times and reached closer to Sousa’s back. Gabriel Sousa also performed the deep armbar and kneebar submissions in a defensive manner. Ultimately, the positional superiority and Baby Shark's offensiveness resulted in the judge's decision and his victory in the WNO Men's Featherweight Championship belt.
1.5. Elisabeth Clay vs. Brianna Ste-Marie - Women's Featherweight Championship
In this battle, Elisabeth Clay defeated Brianna Ste-Marie based on the referee's decision. At the start of the match, Elisabeth Clay pulled the guard and attacked Brianna Ste-Marie’s legs. But Ste-Marie was successful in a guard pass and got closer to Clay's back but was swept in a counter direction. With the positional takeover, Clay managed the half-guard while trying to pass the guard for the remaining fight. Then the referee announced Elisabeth Clay as the winner.
1.6. PJ Barch vs Andrew Tackett - Welterweight Championship Semi-Final
In the semifinals of the Welterweight Championship, Andrew Tackett was victorious over PJ Barch. Andrew got the lead with an early takedown and back take. Both exhibited scrambling and some counterattack positions that took them in close vicinity of the commentary table. Andrew Tackett altered the scenario with the takedown in the last minutes, which assisted him in winning the title.
1.7. Mica Galvao vs Jay Rodriguez - Welterweight Championship Semi-Final
The referee’s decision resulted in Mica Galvao’s win over Jay Rodriguez. Mica Galvao remarkably showcases excellent technical skills, strong pressure, flying attacks, and accurate timing. Although Rodriguez lost the match, he displayed commendable resilience as he escaped armbars and head and arm choke.
1.8. Ash Williams vs Gabriel Sousa - Featherweight Championship Semi-Final
In the semi-finals of the Featherweight Championship, Gabriel Sousa displayed his marvelous grappling prowess against Ash Williams. During the bout, both competitors tried for multiple submission attempts. Williams also attempted a flying omoplata against Sousa and tried hard to win the title. But Gabriel Sousa grabbed the success with the decisive kneebar submission and moved to the Featherweight Championship finals.
1.9. Diogo Reis vs Keith Krikorian - Featherweight Championship Semi-Final
Diogo Reis won the match against Keith Krikorian in the semifinals of the Featherweight Championship. Both fighters showcased their strength through multiple submission attempts. This was the first match of the night that occurred in an expeditious bout. Based on the referee's decision, Diogo Reis successfully got his entrance ticket to the finals.
1.10. Rafael Lovato Jr. vs Riccardo Evangelista - Heavyweight Bout
Rafael Lovato Jr. attempted the submission finish and won against Riccardo Evangelista. In the first few minutes, there was intense combat from collar ties but Rafael perfectly landed the opening takedown with the help of arm drag and a smooth double-leg finish. Lovato also got the mount position by Evangelista’s guard pass. With this move, he took control of Evangelista’s back. Then in the last minutes, Rafael Lovato secured the winning position with a triangle choke.
2.1. Tiffany Butler vs Thaynara Victoria - Women's Flyweight
Tiffany Butler faced Thaynara Victoria in an undercard fight. Throughout the match, there was a series of leg attacks. Both fighters tried to secure the finishing submission. Then after some time, Thaynara Victoria managed to resist Tiffany’s attacks with the belly down straight ankle lock and won the match.
2.2. Steffan Banta vs Thomas Bracher - Heavyweight
In this heavyweight clash, Steffan Banta defeated Thomas Bracher. The night began with a powerful start as Banta exhibited a rapid outside trip for match initiation. He also attempted leg attacks and sweeping moves, which helped him secure the top position. By applying the pressure, Banta cleared his way to Bracher's back and won the match with a reverse triangle choke.
Photo credit: @flograppling