Full card for UFC’s BJJ event with Jones vs Pena, $30K absolute tournament – Grappling Report

UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4, new world champions, and much more this week's BJJ round up.

By: Alex Lindsey | 2 months ago
Full card for UFC’s BJJ event with Jones vs Pena, $30K absolute tournament – Grappling Report

Full card confirmed for UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4

The fourth UFC Fight Pass Invitational event is booked for July 29th and the promotion has stepped up their BJJ game even further. The first three events were all fantastic and they’d already confirmed that the main event would be an epic match between Craig Jones and Felipe Pena, along with a co-main event battle between Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith. Shortly after that, they added flyweight veteran Alex Perez as an opponent for three-time NCAA champion Roman Bravo-Young in his BJJ debut.

Along with a final superfight between Nicholas Meregali and Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu, UFC Fight Pass also announced a $30,000 absolute tournament for the event. Several fan-favorite grapplers like Nicky Rodriguez and Vagner Rocha are competing alongside IBJJF world champions like Fellipe Andrew and Gabriel Arges. Rounding out the stacked lineup is Dan Manasoiu, Haisam Rida, Pedro Rocha, and Fedor Nikolov; all of whom will be giving it everything they’ve got to leave with the grand prize.

Kade Ruotolo retains title at ONE Fight Night 11

Kade Ruotolo was set to make his second title-defense at ONE Fight Night 11, despite only winning the inaugural belt at the beginning of the year. He had a tough match, as Tommy Langaker is an equally impressive grappler who has also become known for his exciting style of Jiu-Jitsu. The majority of the match saw Ruotolo taking top position and working frantically to pass while Langaker threatened with multiple submission attempts off his back.

The most notable moment came pretty early on in the match, when Langaker managed to get a deep bite on a heel hook that really put Ruotolo in danger. He had a few more attempts after that, but nothing that came as close. Ruotolo on the other hand cranked hard on an ankle-lock later on but without control of Langaker’s legs he wasn’t able to put him in enough danger to tap. In the end, Ruotolo was declared the winner by decision and retained the lightweight title.

Full results for the event can be found here.

The IBJJF World Championship 2023 comes to an end

A whole new generation of world champions were crowned at the IBJJF world championship 2023 and there were a number of interesting storylines that emerged from the event. Several top brown belt competitors were promoted to black belt and are no doubt eager to join the highest level next year, but most of the attention was on the black belt divisions. One unbelievable record was set when Wellington ‘Megaton’ Dias stepped on the mats, as he became the first coral belt to ever compete at the event.

Jansen Gomes made headlines when he won the middleweight division, because he beat the reigning lightweight champion Tye Ruotolo in the semi-final and the undefeated IBJJF middleweight king Tainan Dalpra in the final. Gabrieli Pessanha achieved the highest level of success at the event though, as she won both the super-heavyweight and absolute division in order to secure her second consecutive Double Grand Slam of 8 gold medals across all 4 major IBJJF events of the year.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Nicholas Meregali vs Victor Hugo rematch in the works

After Nicholas Meregali put in a fantastic performance at Who’s Number One 18 a few weeks ago, he issued a public $20,000 challenge to the winner of the absolute division at the IBJJF world championship. Now that the tournament has finished and Victor Hugo has been crowned the champion, Meregali’s challenge finally had a target. Hugo was asked about the potential match immediately after leaving the mats and he didn’t hesitate to accept.

The two men have met several times before over the last few years, starting in 2019 when Meregali beat Hugo on points at a BJJ Stars event. Hugo evened the score the next year by winning on points on one of the earliest Who’s Number One cards. They crossed paths twice more at the 2021 IBJJF world championship with Meregali winning both matches by advantages. The score between them is currently 3-1 to Meregali, but every match so far has been won by the thinnest of margins.

“Very happy to have my challenge accepted by Victor Hugo right after his incredible performance this past weekend,” Meregali wrote in a post on Instagram. “We don’t have a date for the fight, but I’m already trying to find a way to do it as soon as possible. It will be great to beat the current Champion and reaffirm once again to everyone that my level of Gi Jiu Jitsu is way ahead of the second best in the world 🫡 More information about the fight coming soon.”

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About the author
Alex Lindsey
Alex Lindsey

Alex has been involved in BJJ and MMA since 2008 and has been writing about both sports since 2019.

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