Nicholas Meregali just won his main event gi match on the latest WNO event against Pedro Marinho, and followed that up with a huge challenge to the next IBJJF absolute world champion. More than that though, he also claimed that he’s willing to bet $20,000 of his own money on the outcome of the match. The challenge makes sense really, because Meregali announced recently that he would no longer be competing at IBJJF events. With that in mind, challenging the winner of the absolute division of the IBJJF world championship is a simple way to re-affirm his place at the very top of the sport.
This wasn’t the only bold move from the event either, as Meregali also sprayed a triangle on to the back of the gi he was wearing as a prediction for how he would finish the match. He confirmed in his post-fight interview that this was a nod to the predictions that his teammate Gordon Ryan made in previous matches:
“That’s my prediction on my back. So I know the envelope was something cool but I have to upgrade Gordon’s. He started to give predictions, this is why I’ve attached on my back a triangle. Right now he has to step up as well you know, just keep doing the work!”
That was when Nicholas Meregali mentioned the upcoming 2023 edition of the IBJJF world championship, and publicly made his wager for a match on the next WNO event:
“We have a random tournament happening in two weeks. I’m betting right now $20,000 to fight against the next open class champion, here on the Who’s Number One stage. So when you win your tournaments against your random fighters, come over here and then we can figure (out) who is the king of the gi.”
Naturally, $20,000 is a lot of money to put on the line for most people and particularly in a sport where the athletes don’t tend to make a whole lot of money in the first place. Meregali addressed that too and he seemed confident that whoever his opponent is, they should be able to make it work:
“They’re gonna try and find some businessman to bet for them because definitely they don’t wanna lose $20,000, but it is what it is. I think FloGrappling can help them to put some money on the table.”
Clips from the post-fight interview that Nicholas Meregali gave at the latest WNO event where he challenged the next IBJJF absolute world champion to a $20,000 match was uploaded to the official Instagram account of FloGrappling: