Flograppling suffered a serious setback when Gordon Ryan announced he was forced to pull out of this weekend’s WNO event against Felipe Pena.
Pena previously faced Ryan several times and even managed to win twice. Their last clash ended when Pena checked out of the event and opted to verbally tap a while into their match. In fairness to Pena, the event was happening just a couple of hours after it was revealed one of his best friend, and BJJ legend, Leandro Lo was killed in Brazil.
Flograppling released Ryan’s statement:
“This is one of the tougher decisions I’ve ever had to make, but it’s the right one,” Ryan said in his apologetic statement.
“Not really sure where to start, so I’ll start by saying that I can’t compete on Saturday. As much as I want to even the score, my body is giving me some issues. Last Wed, after hard rounds for my peak, I got home and developed severe body aches and a migraine. I slept almost straight from Wed afternoon until Friday night, running a 100-102.5 fever while not being able to eat anything and sweating with the chills.”
“I did everything I could to get there but ultimately John and I decided that the professional thing to do was call it and give Pena and the team time to figure out next steps. I have messaged Pena directly to relay this as well as my apologies.”
John Danaher released a statement that was slightly different:
“Sad news: Gordon Ryan will have to pull out of the WNO grappling super fight with Felipe Pena scheduled for this weekend in Costa Mesa. Mr Ryan was afflicted with severe stomach issues that resulted in a severe and quick weight loss/dehydration along with severe nausea and associated symptoms.”
“He tried hard to shrug it off and bulldoze through it but to no avail. Even very mild workouts left him totally exhausted and physically debilitated. It was a tough call as both athletes had invested a lot in preparation for this match and expectations were high, but I believe it is the correct call. This match deserves both athletes in peak physical condition. ”
“The good news is that the event still has amazing matches scheduled for the fans. The great JT Torres returns to competition and Giancarlo Bodoni takes on world champion Pedro Merinho for the 205 point world title. The main event has been switched to Felipe Pena vs Nick Rodriguez.”
“This should be a great match. These two had an epic match at ADCC with a Nicky Rod taking a closely fought victory via guard pass. This time however it’s a totally different rule set and thirty minutes long. Both are very physically imposing but in very different ways – one is fast and explosive, the other isometric Pythonesque strength. This should be a great match!!”
Felipe Pena subsequently released the message Ryan sent him and cast a shadow of doubt over Ryan’s reason for pull out:
“Hey bro- | messaged flo but idk if Ricardo is awake to see the message or not. | am beside myself even having ti write you this message bec trust me, | wanna beat you up as bad as you wanna beat me up haha, but | can’t do this fight on Saturday.”
“| will make a post explaining the whole situation but | have had a bad stomach virus the last week with a high grade fever and diarrhea every 30 minutes for the last 4 days straight and I’m severely dehydrated and have no energy and have lost like 15 Ibs in the last week.”
“I’ve scheduled emergency doctors appointments and even paid to have an IV everyday for the last 4 days and | still can’t keep up with it. | know that you literally changed your entire life for this camp and gave it your all and so | just wanna say sorry that this f**king s*it happened. | did everything | could to get healthy enough to be In there with you and even the score but my body just isn’t there for me. | wanted to send this to you as soon as we made the decision so you Can game plan on what to do next and decide if you want to find a replacement or just not compete. Again man, I’m so sorry but it is what it f**king is. F**k”
“| fought you on the same day my friend died and now you can’t fight because of bad stomach?”
Pena captioned the message:
“I fought our last fight the day one of my best friends died to save the event with the condition that Saturday’s fight would happen. Nobody who has a stomach problem to the point of not doing such an important fight goes out to dinner with friends and after is training in a garage?! Interesting that the problem is only to fight so… You are a coward”
Pena also shared social media posts of Ryan enjoying the birthday dinner of his longtime partner and training afterwards on social media.
Atos Heavyweight Kaynan Duarte chimed in:
“I called that Gordon would pull out few weeks ago, but now 2 days away from the event, change the rules? 30 min? What a JOKE, Pena was training for a No time limit match. I Really Hope you guys didn’t change his prize money, since he is not the one breaking the deal.”
Nick Rodriguez’ brother Jay added:
“when you’re a natural athlete you don’t have to worry about a “cycle” and you can step in on a moments notice, nickyrod saving the day once again”
Felipe Pena added:
“The worst thing is that he simply didn’t fight because he was scared and not 100% prepared and there will still be people drooling over a guy like that.”
Craig Jones once again 10-7ed the entire conversation with a hilarious call back to a skit he posted earlier that day.
BJJ GOAT Craig Jones jokes he won Gordon Ryan's Mazda Miata giveaway pic.twitter.com/V7izSz6tFx
— calfkicker (@calfkickercom) February 24, 2023
Jones posted: “Had I known it was this bad, I would’ve returned the Miata”
Ryan posted a part two to his response:
“- I did everything I could to get there but ultimately john and I decided that the professional thing to do was call it and give pena and the team time to figure out next steps. I have messaged pena directly to relay this as well as my apologies.|
“I know how much time he put into this and I fully expected to have the best pena ever out there to compete against and giving him (or anyone) this version of me isnt an option. Btw- he didnt accept my apology. I really wish I could just force flo to pay me more so I’d feel better like he did but it’s weird, it doesn’t seem to work like that for me.”
“It’s very frustrating because this was a very good camp. There were some speed bumps along the way but I was technically far better than ever. I have some things I’ve been working on and they all came together perfectly through the camp. ”
“I was also in the best physical condition I’ve ever been in as well, so to do this hard 8 weeks and feel better than ever and then having this happen is rough, to say the least. Of course, to the fans as well, I am very sorry. I made the mistake of facing pena sick in our 1st match and I swore to never do that again. I have competed (2019 ADCC) with food poisoning (and a broken hand) that I came down with the day before hand but this one has been eating at me for a week and I simply have nothing left for a hard match at the moment. ”
“Michael Jordan had the luxury of being able to have a bad game without being too harshly criticized In a team sport. I unfortunately do not have that luxury. While this was a very tough decision, it was the correct one. ”
“I hate to be this guy and I am beside myself even having to write this, but sometimes it just is what it is. I will keep everyone updated here on what’s next. Sorry again
Ps- good news- Who’s Number Two now has a new match for pena- nicky fraud. The battle of the “has been” vs the “has never”. Can’t wait to see my 2 valentines compete for not 1st place.”