Nicholas Meregali has just announced that he will no longer be competing in IBJJF tournaments, despite being a three-time IBJJF world championship winner and the reigning champion of the absolute division. He’s one of the most successful competitors in the gi side of the sport and he was most recently seen putting in a dominant performance to win double-gold at the IBJJF Pan Championship this year. That’s why it might come as a surprise to hear that he’ll no longer be stepping onto the IBJJF mats at all. That doesn’t mean he’s retiring from gi competition altogether though, as he is actually booked to competing in the first Who’s Number One gi match.
Meregali will be headlining the next WNO event against Pedro Marinho after a stacked card of top competitors, and he recently gave his thoughts on being part of the first gi match the promotion has ever staged:
“I feel great, I mean I would prefer to have more gi matches to be honest but I know hyped is the no gi scenario. So I understand business, I know that if that is bringing money we have to keep pushing the marketing where the money is. So it’s part of the process, but I’m super happy to be building something special also in the gi because that is where I’m from. So I train my whole life just in the gi… I mean I have a year like training no gi so I’m still being a low belt guy. I would say I’m still learning things and adapting my game. So that jiu-jitsu in the gi is my passion, having that space inside Who’s Number One is something that I’m really grateful (for) because I know I can build something special. Bringing the gi back and fighting against everybody.”
While he’s clearly quite excited to compete in the first gi match that WNO have ever staged, Nicholas Meregali also revealed that he isn’t going to be competing in gi matches in IBJJF tournaments moving forward:
“I know that my skill level compared to all the other competitors is miles and miles away so it’s gonna be pretty… not impossible because no one is unbeatable, but it’s gonna be super hard for someone (to) beat me in Who’s Number One ruleset. As I’m not competing (in) IBJJF events any more, I only have the Who’s Number One stage to show up and that is what I’m gonna do.”
The full interview with Nicholas Meregali where he discusses his upcoming gi match against Pedro Marinho and his decision to stop competing in IBJJF tournaments was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of FloGrappling: