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Who’s Number One Preview

Atos will compete in four of the five Who’s Number One divisions this weekend. Each division consists of an eight-person bracket, with the champion taking home $30,000.

In the evolution of jiu-jitsu many promotions have attempted to create the best ruleset for jiu-jitsu. Now, Flograppling has launched their own invitational where they host sub-only super fights and tournaments with the top-ranked athletes in each division to determine. This platform is highly regarded for their ruleset, and also the criteria to be invited. You can’t only consistently perform well at the highest level, you have to also be exciting to watch, unafraid, and relentless.

There’s no points, no advantages, and no stalling. Winners are decided by submission or decision. However, the ref’s don’t weigh in on the decisions for Whos’ Number One. Instead, three neutral side judges determine a winner based on aggression, dangerous submission attacks, and positional control. You can find more on the WNO Ruleset here. All preliminary and consolation matches will be 15 minutes, while finals matches will be 30 minutes.

The brackets won’t be released until Friday. But, for now let’s break down the divisions where Atos athletes are repping:

Men’s 155-pound Division: Kade Ruotolo

As a veteran in the Who’s Number One ruleset, and garnering an impressive 67% submission-victory rate, Kade Ruotolo enters the 155-pound division as one of the top prospects to take home the $30,000 cash prize. He’s yet to face any of the other contenders, which could bode well for Kade’s unorthodox, and ability to thrive in ambiguous positions. Kade excels by breaking down the comfort zone of his opponent’s positions, creating a no-man’s land where he can scramble to a dominant position. This strategy could play out well against the other top contender, Mikey Musumeci. However the bracket plays out it’s sure to be an exciting division to watch.

Men’s 185-pound Division: Tye Ruotolo

Tye Ruotolo is 2-1 on Who’s Number One. His only loss was in a highly competitive match, and  controversial decision to Craig Jones. Now, Tye enters the 185-pound division with favorable odds. He’s got an ongoing rivalry with Roberto Jimenez, who is also in the division. Over the last couple years that Tye has been competing at the highest level we have seen him improve dramatically. He is constantly accepting the toughest challenges, and quickly adapting to mark his place in this division.

Women’s Heavyweight Division: Rafaela Guedes

The women’s heavyweight division is an interesting category because the weight disparity is huge: it’s anyone over 135-pounds. In IBJJF terms this means this division pits lightweights against superheavyweights and everyone in between. Rafaela is positioned well in the bracket. She has a 15-2 record in her short career at black belt. And, she has already defeated two of the favorites in this division, Ana Carolina Vieira and Elisabeth Clay. Depending on how the bracket plays out she will have the opportunity to avenge a controversial loss to dark horse, Erin Harpe. With a sharp mat IQ, Rafaela has certainly made the necessary adjustments to come out on top this time.

Men’s Heavyweight Division: Kaynan Duarte

With only two losses in two years Kaynan Duarte has been the reigning heavyweight champion. Those two losses inspired a big change for Kaynan. They were both inside heel hooks. Since then he has exclusively been training no-gi to close the gaps. The change in training has proven to be successful. With submission victories over ADCC champions Matheus Diniz and Rodolfo Vieira Kaynan has solidified his spot at the top of the competition. Kaynan is highly favored to walk away with $30k.

Important Event Information

Press Conference and bracket reveal: Friday. September 24th 5:30 et

First Round: Saturday, September 25th 11:00 et

Semifinals: Saturday, September 25th 6:00 et

Consolation bracket and third place matches: Sunday, September 26th 11:00 et

Finals: Sunday, September 26th 7:00 et

Watch the event live on FloGrappling on September 25 and 26.