Multiple-time IBJJF world champion and top gi competitor Nicholas Meregali has just had his no gi competition debut announced for an upcoming Who’s Number One event, where he will take on Arnaldo Maidana. It’s a tough introduction to no gi for sure, but Meregali has defeated some of the best competitors on the planet in the gi already and he received some high praise from Gordon Ryan when the two met for a training session together.
This will actually be a rematch as well, as Meregali has previously defeated Maidana in the opening round of the absolute division at the 2017 IBJJF world championships. Meregali put up an impressive 10 points against Maidana and defeated him in the same year that he actually won an IBJJF no gi world title. Not only will the ruleset be drastically different from the last time the two met as heelhooks will be legal, but the judging criteria will also be different to the traditional IBJJF point-scoring system.
The two will meet on March 25th, at the same event that will settle the score between Geo Martinez and Mikey Musumeci once and for all. This will serve as a great litmus test for Nicholas Meregali as he makes his no gi competition debut and a good performance against Maidana will bode well for his future. He was recently given a surprise invite to the 2022 ADCC World Championships and fans around the world were unsure as to whether he would be able to transition to the different ruleset and clothing requirements that he will compete under.
Meregali will be entering the 99kg division and will face incredibly tough opposition like Patrick Gaudio, Tim Spriggs, Rafael Lovato Jr, and even former ADCC world champions like Yuri Simoes, Vinny Magalhaes and Kaynan Duarte. While the ruleset might present a challenge for Meregali, it’s worth remembering that he currently holds a 2-2 record against Duarte and owns a submission win over Spriggs as well. Regardless of how difficult the transition might be, Meregali is still one of the best grapplers on the planet right now.
The full Who’s Number One event, including Nicholas Meregali making his no gi debut against Arnaldo Maidana, will be available to watch live on FloGrappling on March 25th, click here to subscribe and watch.