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Grappling Report: Controversy surrounds Gordon Ryan v Felipe Pena 3 after death of Leandro Lo

A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

Gordon Ryan was due to face off against Felipe Pena at the latest WNO event, the only man to ever submit him in black belt competition and the only man to beat him twice. On the morning of the event, the unthinkable happened and news broke that BJJ legend and personal friend of Pena’s, Leandro Lo, was shot and killed in Brazil. Lo was shot by an off-duty police officer at a nightclub after an altercation with the man.

The event went ahead as planned and Ryan emerged victorious after Pena verbally submitted, but all hell broke loose after the event. Pena blamed Ryan and FloGrappling for making him compete after the loss of a friend, and Ryan quickly alleged that Pena actually used the event to extort more money from the organizer. FloGrappling then released a statement in order to clarify the truth of the matter and lay everything out in the open.

ADCC contenders shine at Who’s Number One

Prior to the main event, the latest Who’s Number One event went off without a hitch. The main card was stacked from top to bottom with top contenders who are due to make a run at glory at ADCC 2022, and they didn’t disappoint. Both South American trials winners at 66kg, Fabricio Andrey and Diogo Reis, put in great work to win unanimous decisions against their respective opponents at the start of the night.

Jacob Couch pulled off the upset against North American West Coast trials winner Jacob Rodriguez, and Elisabeth Clay put up a tough fight but eventually lost a decision to Beatriz Mesquita. The most impressive performances of the night were definitely the final two however, as both Nicholas Meregali and the young prodigy Mica Galvao proved that they will be a force to be reckoned with in their first ADCC world championships.

Full results for the event can be found here.

‘Judo’ Gene LeBell passes away at the age of 89

It has truly been a sad week for the grappling community for several reasons, one of which was the passing of a true American legend. ‘Judo’ Gene LeBell accomplished many things in his life, earning a 10th degree red belt in Judo, a 10th degree black belt in Kyokushin Budokai, and a 9th degree black belt in Ju Jitsu. He also trained extensively with famous catch wrestlers like Karl Gotch, Lou Thesz, and Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis.

LeBell was a popular figure in the grappling community after competing in what has been regarded as the first televised MMA fight in America. He fought veteran boxer Milo Savage in 1963 in a ruleset that aimed to bridge the gap between grappling and striking, eventually choking him unconscious to win. This started his involvement with MMA, where he served as a referee, judge, and even a coach to elite talent throughout the years.

Pat Downey makes successful MMA debut at Bellator 284

There were two phenomenal grapplers competing at Bellator 284, the pair being at completely opposite ends of their respective MMA careers. The event was headlined by Neiman Gracie, who was attempting to right the ship after alternating wins and losses in his last five fights. Gracie is 33 and has already competed for the Bellator welterweight world championship, but was knocked out in the main event fight against Goiti Yamauchi.

Further down the card was a different story however, as NCAA All-American Pat Downey was making his professional MMA debut. It took Downey just a little over thirty seconds to put his first opponent away, taking down Keyes Nelson and submitting him with an arm triangle choke. Downey will likely be moving onto tougher opposition for his next outing, but he will definitely be one to watch for the future.

Full results for the event can be found here.


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