Felipe Pena has a very long history with one of the greatest grapplers of all time, Gordon Ryan. The pair first met in a superfight back in 2016 at Studio 540, where Pena submitted Ryan with a rear-naked choke in what is still the only time he’s been forced to tap since being awarded his black belt. It didn’t take long for them to have a rematch as their paths crossed at the highest point of the sport, in the absolute final of ADCC 2017, where Pena scored 6 points to Ryan’s 0 and took home the gold medal.
Since then, there’s been some bad blood between the pair and they’ve had several spats on social media and private messages back and forth. Now it appears as though things are heating up again during the build-up for ADCC 2022 and what may prove to be an opportunity for the pair to meet again if Ryan is allowed to compete in the 99kg weightclass as ADCC organizers have previously suggested. Of course this potential meeting hinges on two things that are currently uncertain, Pena choosing to enter the world championships and Ryan being able to overcome his recent stomach issues in time to compete at the event.
Felipe Pena was asked about what it would take for a third fight with Gordon Ryan to materialize in a recent interview with Tatame and he said the following (translated from Portuguese):
“This Gordon Ryan thing is simple, he’s a liar. He’s a very marketing-oriented guy and he’s at a time when he doesn’t want to fight anyone who can beat him, doesn’t want to risk losing and tarnishing this moment he’s living.
You see that he says that nobody accepts to fight him, but you see athletes, like me, for example, Lucas Hulk, Kaynan Duarte, Roberto Cyborg… Several athletes, all the time, posting that they want to fight him, but the fight doesn’t happen for a simple reason: he doesn’t want to fight. He doesn’t respond to promoters, but on the internet he lies, saying that it’s us who don’t want to fight him. That when it comes to signing a contract something happens, that he’s tired of Kaynan, that I change my mind all the time. Anyway, all lies.”