FloGrappling have finally released an official statement on the controversy that has been surrounding the third match between Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena. The stage was set for the controversy long before the match was even announced, as both athletes have gone back and forth in public for quite some time now and Ryan revealed that there was clearly no love lost between them in private either. The pair’s relationship meant that any issues surrounding their third match would likely explode into a larger controversy anyway.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly in the build-up to the match but then less than twenty-four hours before they were due to take to the mats, Pena’s good friend Leandro Lo was shot and killed in Brazil. The horrific news threw a spanner in the works, as Pena was no longer willing and able to compete for understandable reasons. He did however compete in the end and the match went on for around half an hour before the athletes began arguing with officials, and around forty-five minutes before Pena submitted verbally without Ryan having actually applied a submission hold.
The unsatisfying conclusion to the match between them was almost immediately addressed in a post-fight interview with Pena that has since been removed from FloGrappling’s YouTube channel. In it, Pena claimed that he told FloGrappling he was not willing to compete and they offered to put a time-limit on the match instead but Ryan was unwilling to agree. Originally he blamed FloGrappling and Ryan for making him compete, but once he was able to calm down in the following days he walked that back slightly and clarified things in a post to his official Instagram account:
Ryan took issue with Pena’s description of the change of events and decided to reveal certain things that Pena chose to omit. According to Ryan, he was actually willing to postpone the match altogether and had no issue with doing so provided they stuck to the original ruleset and absence of time-limit that they had agreed on. He also claimed that Pena ‘extorted’ FloGrappling for more money in order to go ahead with the match as planned. Naturally, the video that Ryan posted to his official Instagram account explaining this added fuel to the fire of this controversy and turned a lot of fans against Pena instead of either him or FloGrappling:
Now FloGrappling have decided to shed further light on the controversy and explain the truth that lies somewhere between the claims of Ryan and Pena as an independent third party, in a post to their official Instagram account: