Haisam Rida has just stepped in at the last minute to replace Gordon Ryan against Mason Fowler in the main event match of UFC Fight Pass Invitational 5 on December 10th, 2023. It’s some fantastic matchmaking by the promotion as well, as they’ve managed to keep an ADCC veteran on the card and book him against another top competitor to maintain a lot of interest in the event. The original main event likely would have attracted more attention, as Fowler was supposed to be taking on the biggest name in the sport right in Gordon Ryan.
Although that would undoubtedly have been an exciting match that provided plenty of entertainment for the fans, Ryan withdrew from all matches in 2023 after suffering a rib injury in training. It was a devastating blow to the event, but Rida has been able to save the day on just a little over a week’s notice. He’s a fantastic opponent for Fowler as well, as both men are at the very top of the game and competed in different divisions at ADCC 2022.
Mason Fowler competed in the under 88kg division at ADCC 2022 and Haisam Rida entered the over 99kg division, so there’s likely to be a pretty significant weight difference in play when they step on the mats. Both men made it out of the opening round by submitting their first opponents, but both were stopped in their tracks in the quarter-final. While Rida might have the advantage in weight, Fowler actually has a little more experience at the highest level of the sport as he also made it to the quarter-final of ADCC 2019 as well.
UFC Fight Pass announced the news that Haisam Rida was stepping in on short notice to replace Gordon Ryan against Mason Fowler at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 5 in a recent post to their official Instagram account: