Nicholas Meregali will be facing off against Kaynan Duarte in a no gi match that will headline Who’s Number One 19 on August 10th, 2023. It’s an excellent match to serve as the main event and as is always the case for WNO events, there will likely be a series of excellent superfights shortly before it. This is far from the first time that the two men have met on the mats, and they actually have a close rivalry that spreads across four matches and five years of competition at the black belt level.
The first time they met was at World Series of Grappling 2 in 2018 where Duarte won a referee decision over Meregali in the opening round, although he did not win the tournament. They crossed paths again the following year, this time in the semi-final of the absolute division at the IBJJF Brazilian National Championship. Meregali won the match by submitting Duarte with a choke from the back, and then went on to win two gold medals at the event.
It didn’t take long for their rubber match, as they were both invited to compete in one of the first Spyder BJJ tournaments. They each fought their way to the final and Duarte managed to win another referee decision over Meregali to take the lead in the series between the two men. It stayed that way for a while before they met for the fourth time in the IBJJF World Championship 2021, with Meregali winning by decision in the semi-final of the absolute division. It’s been a very close series of matches between the two men and it currently stands at 2-2, with their main event match at Who’s Number One 19 serving to break the tie.
Kaynan Duarte also gave a comment on the booking against Nicholas Meregali where he explained that this may not be the end of their rivalry regardless of who wins:
“This time will be no gi but we can run it back in the gi afterwards.”
The news that Nicholas Meregali v Kaynan Duarte would serve as the main event of Who’s Number One 19 on August 10th, 2023 was announced in a recent post to the official Instagram account of FloGrappling: