Giancarlo Bodoni has just stepped in to replace Gordon Ryan against Lucas ‘Hulk’ Barbosa, a match that was originally the main event of Who’s Number One 21 on November 30th, 2023. Not only is Bodoni an excellent replacement for Ryan in general, but there’s the added benefit of the fact that he already has a rivalry with Barbosa. The two men have crossed paths in 6 matches over the last few years and although Barbosa currently leads the series between them 4-2, Bodoni was able to get the biggest and most recent victory.
Up until ADCC 2022, every match between them had either been won on points or by decision. The two men were positioned on either side of the bracket in the 88kg division and they eventually met in the final, where Bodoni locked up a rear-naked choke to secure the first submission finish in their matches. This means that there will be a lot of attention on their upcoming seventh match at Who’s Number One 21, as Barbosa will no doubt be eager to get back in the win-column against Bodoni and Bodoni will be looking to solidify his place at the top of the division.
The opportunity to book this match has only come about because Gordon Ryan withdrew from his main event title-defense against Barbosa at the event. As Ryan was the one holding the belt, the card has been shuffled around a little and what was previously the co-main event has been moved further up. Who’s Number One 21 will now be headlined by the light-heavyweight title-fight between Pedro Marinho and Rafael Lovato Jr instead, and Barbosa will be competing earlier on in the night against Giancarlo Bodoni.
FloGrappling announced the news that Giancarlo Bodoni was stepping in to replace Gordon Ryan at Who’s Number One 21 in a recent post to their official Instagram account: