Tainan Dalpra now has his no gi debut booked, and he will be facing Troy Russell at Who’s Number One 21 on November 30th, 2023. Dalpra is known as a gi competitor and has dominated the highest level of competition in the middleweight division for a few years now. This will be the first time that he has taken a no gi match as a BJJ black belt and as an adult, as the last time he competed in no gi was as a juvenile colored belt all the way back in 2016. It’s not as if Dalpra wasn’t successful at that level though, and in fact he won two gold medals at the IBJJF No Gi World Championship that year.
In the years that have followed since then, Dalpra has focused exclusively on gi competition and immediately became the top competitor in his weight class once he was promoted to black belt. He won the IBJJF World Championship on his very first attempt, before continuing on an incredible run over his first two years of black belt competition. Dalpra won a second world title and at least one of every other major IBJJF event on the calendar during that time, dominating the middleweight division every time he stepped on the mat.
His only losses at black belt have been a referee decision in 2021 against Mica Galvao and a loss on advantages to Jansen Gomes in the final of the IBJJF World Championship 2023. Outside of those two matches, Dalpra has looked absolutely unbeatable and has submitted the majority of his opponents. Naturally there was a lot of attention on Dalpra when he announced that he was going to transition to no gi competition, and a lot of competitors eager to face him.
Troy Russell is the man who’s going to welcome Tainan Dalpra to no gi competition at Who’s Number One 21, and he has significantly more experience under the ruleset. Russell hasn’t had the same level of success as Dalpra has in his area of expertise, but he has had a pair of matches on the Who’s Number One stage before. His first appearance was a submission win over Austin Oranday and he followed that up with a submission loss to William Tackett. A win over Dalpra would be a huge moment for Russell and no doubt he’ll be eager to put on a good performance against one of the best grapplers on the planet right now.
FloGrappling announced the news that Tainan Dalpra was going to make his no gi debut against Troy Russell at Who’s Number One 21 in a recent post to their official Instagram account: