2022 Tezos WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena

Grappling Bulletin: Big Money Side Bet Raises the Stakes for Felipe-Gordon

Grappling Bulletin: Big Money Side Bet Raises the Stakes for Felipe-Gordon

There was already a lot on the line for the match between Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena on August 7, and the stakes have been raised even higher.

Jul 25, 2022 by Hywel Teague
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And as of today we are 54 days away from ADCC 2022, and 11 days out from Tezos WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena

There are two huge events on the horizon and a lot of news to cover from last weekend’s events, so strap in because this is going to be a busy edition of the Grappling Bulletin.  

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The High Stakes Bet Between Felipe Pena and Gordon Ryan 

There was already a lot on the line for the match between Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena on August 7, and the stakes have been raised even higher to make this one of the biggest-payout matches in jiu-jitsu history. 

In addition to their purses, Gordon and Felipe are wagering their own money in this match, with Gordon putting up $100,000 against $10,000 of Felipe’s. 

Yes, this is real. Gordon is so confident that he has offered 10 to 1 odds against Felipe Pena. 

To ensure the deal goes through, the money has been transferred into an escrow account and the transaction are being overseen by ADCC organizer Mo Jassim. When the match is over, the winner takes all.

This match has been a long time coming and it is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most anticipated grappling superfights that could possibly take place. While Gordon’s heavyweight title belt will be on the line and the winner walks away with a six-figure sum on top of their prize money, this match is about more than titles or trophies– it is about honor. 

Felipe Pena holds the distinction of being the only person to have submitted Gordon since 2014, and is the only person to have beaten Gordon twice at black belt. They last faced off in the absolute final of ADCC 2017, and that loss has been gnawing at Gordon ever since. 

Gordon clearly wants to erase the black mark on his career – and that would be by submitting Pena in the most brutal way possible. 

How Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena 3 Came To Be

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Felipe’s motivation for taking this much is less clear. A respected champion and with two victories over Gordon already, he stands to gain little by beating him for a third time. He has done well for himself throughout his professional career, so the money is not a true motivating factor. A third win over Gordon would look impressive on his resume, but is it really necessary? It’s not like he has to prove anything. It could be that he just truly dislikes Gordon to the degree he wants to physically humiliate him in front of the world. 

For the majority of fans, the mere suggestion that Pena can submit the modern version of Gordon Ryan is absurd. It has been almost five years since they last faced off and in that time Gordon has risen to become one of the most dominant figures we have ever seen in no-gi grappling. Memories are short, and many new fans may have never seen the matches when Pena proved superior. 

A lot has changed since then. While Gordon's career has gone from strength to strength, the same cannot be said for Felipe, who has enjoyed mixed results. 

This will be a no-time limit, submission-only match, meaning the only way either man can win is by forcing the other to surrender. No tricks, no strategies, just pure jiu-jitsu versus jiu-jitsu. Only a tap can secure victory. 

Given Gordon‘s size advantage, plus his recent display of dominance against Pedro Marinho, he would appear to be the heavy favorite.  So much so, that few people outside of Pena’s most ardent supporters consider this to be a competitive match. Even the haters (who desperately hope that Felipe is the one person who could shut up Gordon) begrudgingly admit that their champion may be facing insurmountable odds.  

So how does Felipe win this match? As stated, the only way to win is by submission. But what are his paths to victory? He has sublime back-taking skills and his ability to finish with the rear naked choke is among the best in the world. Even still, are these two weapons enough to take out Gordon? 

Given everything we’ve discussed, the truth could be that maybe that Felipe Pena knows something we don’t. 

While we struggle to imagine how he can topple the king from his throne, he will be dutifully planning and preparing for a match that he absolutely believes he can win. Why else would he take on the trash-talking titan, under Gordon's preferred rules and in Gordon's backyard? If he truly has an ace up she sleeve we will find out what it looks like on August 7. 


Grappling News Round-Up

Read on for a breakdown of the major news stories from around the world of jiu-jitsu and grappling. 


Pedro Marinho Invited to ADCC 2022  

  • WNO light heavyweight champion Pedro Marinho has been invited to compete at the 2022 ADCC world championship. 
  • He joins the -99 kg division replacing Tim Spriggs who has withdrawn for unknown reasons. 
  • Prior to his recent match against Gordon Ryan Pedro Marinho captured double gold at the 2021 IBJJF world Nogi Championships. 
  • In the last 12 months Marinho has earned victories against ADCC champ Roberto Cyborg, World No-Gi champ Victor Hugo, and ADCC medallists Craig Jones and Vagner Rocha.

Porfirio Added to IBJJF Medium-Heavyweight GP 

  • Following the withdrawal of Gabriel Arges due to injury, the IBJJF announced that Andre Porfirio of Fight Sports will replace him in the black belt medium-heavyweight GP on August 12. 
  • Two-time IBJJF world champ Arges announced he would not be able to compete due to a knee injury suffered in the training leading up to the event. 
  • Porfirio, the 2021 IBJJF Pan black belt champion in the medium-heavyweight division, represents Fight Sports and trains out of Miami. 
  • The winner of the GP will claim a $10,000 cash prize. Watch it live on FloGrappling on August 12.

ONE Champ Hits Rare Submission in Title Defense 

  • ONE Championship middleweight champ Reinier de Ridder used a rarely-seen jiu-jitsu technique to defend his title last week. 
  • The Dutchman put opponent Vitaly Bigdash to sleep with a tight inverted triangle in the opening round of the fight. 
  • De Ridder is a jiu-jitsu black belt undefeated with a perfect 16-0 record including 11 submissions. 
  • The inverted triangle from the guard was popularized by Braulio Estima in the final of the 2009 ADCC World Championship -88kg division when he used it to submit Andre Galvao.

Mikey Shares Diet Secrets on Joe Rogan Podcast 

  • Grappling fans were treated to a deep look into Mikey Musumeci's daily diet and his philosophy toward training thanks to Joe Rogan's inquisitive style of conversation. 
  • Appearing on episode no.127 of the JRE MMA Show, Mikey also revealed his two upcoming grappling matches with ONE Championship. 
  • Musumeci will face off with Cleber Sousa for the 135lb title belt in September, and already has a match with Demetrius Johnson booked for sometime in December. 
  • The match with Sousa, scheduled for September 30, will be his first match back after surgery to remove his appendix.
  • One of biggest talking points throughout the interview was Mikey's unconventional diet, including his love of pizza and pasta. For a look at Mikey's cooking skills, check out this video. 


RIP Grand Master Osvaldo Alves  

  • FloGrappling has learned of the passing of Osvaldo Alves de Albuquerque, a 9th degree red belt grand master of jiu-jitsu. 
  • Born in 1938, Osvaldo Alves was known as a practitioner of both judo and jiu-jitsu and is considered among the most important figures in the development of jiu-jitsu outside of the Gracie family. 
  • A jiu-jitsu and judo practitioner who lived and trained in Japan, Alves was a pioneer of modern coaching methods and athletic training. He also introduced many techniques and popularized the use of training drills. 
  • Alves was one of the founding technical directors of the IBJJF and was widely considered The Godfather of jiu-jitsu in Manaus, having established a wide network of black belts in the Amazon city. 
  • As a coach, he worked directly with athletes such as Andre Galvao, Ronaldo Jacare, Fredson Paixiao, Bibiano Fernandes and others.

Results Recap

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PJ Barch Subs Four in a Row at Sub Only Series VII Welterweights Pro

  • 10th Planet black belt PJ Barch proved why he is one of the top 170lb'ers in the U.S. by stopping four in a row at Sub Only Series VII: The Welterweight Pros.
  • Barch tapped Jeremy Pere, Brady Wicklund, John Combs and Chris Wojcik to win the invitational event.
  • Barch has enjoyed a consistent run of results, blending strong wrestling and both upper and lower body submissions. Check out the highlight video above to see what we mean. 

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Johnson Wins Rise Invitational Openweight Tournament

  • Devhonte Johnson steamrolled through the RISE Invitational $10k openweight tournament, tapping all three opponents in regulation to claim the grand prize. 
  • Representing Unity Jiu-Jitsu, Johnson submitted Albruce Touaev, Rene Sousa and Jason Rau. Check out each of his matches here (all quick subs) here
  • As one of the biggest events on the East Coast, Rise acts as a showcase for up-and-coming no-gi talent while also offering established names a platform to inspire others. 
  • One of the best matches of the night was that of Fatima Kline and Sophia Casella, two rising stars in women's grappling. Check out the match here.

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Andrew Tackett Loses via Shock Kneebar

  • Wilson Grappling Bros won the three-on-three team battle at Combat Sports Coverage 4.
  • In an epic final match Johnathan Wilson submitted Andrew Tackett in the final 60 seconds of a back and forth war, catching the young brown belt in a tight kneebar. 
  • Watch the full event replay here.