Felipe Pena is still planning on making the transition to professional MMA, but he has one last piece of unfinished business in Jiu-Jitsu to take care of first; the fourth match with Gordon Ryan. The pair have engaged in a rivalry that has been the main topic of conversation in the BJJ world over the last few years and has often devolved into public spats. As it stands, Pena won the first two matches he had with Ryan before losing to him for the first time in a no time-limit match at a Who’s Number One event.
Pena recently sat down with Tatame and spoke about his eventual move to MMA and what the only thing holding him back is (translated from the original Portuguese):
“That is a plan (migrating to MMA) that, for me, was already set. After my last fight with Gordon, I was certain that I would do that fight and then focus on MMA, which is something I’ve wanted for a long time. I’m at an age where I can’t wait too long, I have a few good years of competition, but for MMA I would have to migrate now. But then what happened (with Gordon Ryan) happened, and I’m going to have to put it off even further. It is a business that I really want, it was already certain and defined.”
What he’s referring to is the fact that their fourth match was actually scheduled for early 2023, but was cancelled at the last minute. Gordon Ryan withdrew from the match due to sickness in the final week and was replaced by Nicky Rodriguez, leaving their rivalry without a conclusion and delaying Pena’s move to MMA. This is far from the first time that Felipe Pena has discussed his transition to MMA, and it’s clearly something he’s been planning for quite some time. He even revealed that he already knows which weightclass he’s going to be competing in when he does make his debut:
“I think (I would compete in MMA) at 93kg. 84kg (middleweight) would be tough. I’ve never fought in an event losing as much weight as the MMA guys do, I’d have to see what that adaptation would be like. But at 93kg, for sure, it would be possible… The top one (heavyweight), no chance (laughs). It would have to be, more likely, 93kg.”