Just a matter of days before the two were scheduled to meet for their fourth match, it was revealed that Gordon Ryan was pulling out of his fight with Felipe Pena as a result of illness suffered during the build-up. The show must go on of course, so Ryan was replaced by his former teammate Nicky Rodriguez and Pena has chosen to remain on the card for a rematch against him instead. It makes sense really that Pena would remain on the card seeing as he’d already spent so long preparing for what was set to be one of the most stacked events of the year.
“Talked, talked, talked and gave up! Bunda suja do caro did this whole show to give up like a coward. You decided not to fight because you had a bad performance in your last fight, you didn’t prepare as you should for this one and after seeing that I was training 3 months away from home, how prepared I am, you got scared. It would have been less ugly if you had the courage to fight, lost and honored your commitment to everyone than having made all that noise to create a excuse and give up. For those who are talking about not doing like him and being the asshole of the internet, my answer is simple, I respect those who deserve it and he doesn’t. He always disrespects and attacks everyone without the slightest need, saying mean, offensive things beyond any mkt and he never had the slightest bit of empathy and respect, especially in the face of the whole situation of our last fight… Gordon Pipoqueiro 3×1”
Since then though, he has obviously had time to gathers his thoughts and reflect on the situation a little more. That’s why a recent interview with FloGrappling seems to show a more measured and calm Pena, although of course his feelings around the last-minute withdrawal seem pretty much the same:
“I feel very uncomfortable because I change all my life for this, you know? I stay like three months, I came to the US, training in San Diego. I put all my thoughts on the match… and three days before the guy pull out because of a stomach issue. Last match I fought with my heart and my head was broke… and I feel sad but anyway, the show must keep going.”
He’s referring to the fact that his close friend Leandro Lo was shot and killed just the night before their third match took place. While Felipe Pena is understandably frustrated about Gordon Ryan pulling out on such short notice, he also confirmed that he’s more than happy to reschedule the match. He did add that he wants something in return for rebooking the match, and brought up the issue of time-limits that has been ever-present during the build-up:
“Man, I would do the match next week. Like I told you guys from Flo, offer him to do it next week. Because if it’s a stomach issue, you know, he’s gonna be ready in one week, or even ten days, or two weeks. It doesn’t matter, I’ll stay here. Like I said I changed my whole life for this, I really wanted this match. But he didn’t want to do it, I don’t know why. Actually I know why, because he’s afraid and he’s not prepared 100%. I still want to do the match you know, but we just need to figure out the new date and the new rules because I trained for no time-limit. I didn’t want to. I told you guys from Flo, I told him that we could do a match that could be like 30 minutes. But he didn’t want that and we just did this match because Gordon ‘the boss’ wanted to do it this way. I trained for this ruleset and now ‘the boss’ is out, so I need to come back and the ruleset is gonna be like 30 minutes.”
The full interview with Felipe Pena where he gives his thoughts on Gordon Ryan pulling out of their fourth match was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of FloGrappling: