The most recent Who’s Number One event concluded with Gilbert Burns defeating Rafael Lovato Jr. in the main event, and now, we’re starting to see a predictably impressive lineup taking shape for the next WNO.
Shortly before their most recent main event, the promotion revealed that their next card would be headlined by a match between Gordon Ryan and Luiz Panza. Ryan, who’s won everything he’s touched since 2018, really needs no introduction. His last four competitive appearances have been for WNO, and he’s won all of them via submission. He most recently defeated Vagner Rocha with a triangle.
Panza will be taking on his second competitive endeavor of 2021, having previously competed in the Heavyweight Grand Prix at BJJ Stars 5. Panza is a 2016 No-Gi World Champion, having also collected double gold at No-Gi Pans in 2013. This will mark both his WNO debut and his first time facing Ryan. While he’s undeniably the underdog in this matchup, anything can happen between athletes of this level.
The co-main event of the evening will see Mikey Musumeci face off against Lucas Pinheiro. Musumeci has won most of the major international BJJ titles at some point, including Worlds (three times), No-Gi Worlds, Pans, Euros (twice), and the UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro. His last WNO appearance, which marked his first no-gi match since 2016, saw him submit Marcelo Cohen with a triangle-armbar.
Pinheiro has an impressive resume of his own, which includes wins at both Pans and No-Gi Pans last year. He’s had a fairly busy 2021 already, competing at the Brazilian National Pro (which he won), F2W 166, and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, where he won bronze.
Also announced for the card is a match between Vanger Rocha and Josh Hinger, the latter of whom will be making his WNO debut. Hinger is coming off two consecutive Fight 2 Win victories, most recently defeating Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa at F2W 170 to claim the Master Middleweight title. Rocha’s last appearance for the promotion was against Ryan himself, and prior to that, he defeated Jon Blank and Ronaldo Junior in previous installments. Rocha isn’t afraid of a challenge, and Hinger will give him just that on the mats at WNO.
There are still multiple matches to be announced, so make sure you keep an eye out for updates on this exciting event.
Who’s Number One: Ryan vs. Panza will take place on Friday, May 28, and can be streamed live on FloGrappling.