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Gordon Ryan out of Felipe Pena rematch, Nick Rodriguez to step in

The ADCC legend announced his withdrawal due to health complications yesterday on social media, leading his former teammate to replace him.

Gordon Ryan interviewed by FloGrappling ahead of Road To Who’s Number One: Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena IV on FloGrappling’s YouTube channel.
Gordon Ryan interviewed by FloGrappling ahead of Road To Who’s Number One: Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena IV on FloGrappling’s YouTube channel.
FloGrappling YouTube

Gordon Ryan has pulled out of his February 25th WNO match against Felipe Pena due to health complications. Announced by both Ryan and FloGrappling yesterday afternoon, Pena will now be facing Ryan’s former teammate Nick Rodriguez in the main event of the evening.

“This is one of the tougher decisions I’ve ever had to make, but it’s the right one,” Ryan stated in a two-part Instagram post. Starting Wednesday, Feb. 15, Ryan described feelings of nausea and fatigue after hard training rounds. Ryan then slept until Friday, when he was hit with fever and an inability to hold down food. He recovered slightly over the weekend, but repeated episodes of diarrhea and fatigue left him unable to train hard or eat much through this past week. Claiming this is a viral issue unrelated to his past stomach problems, Ryan also stated he’s lost 15 pounds in a week.

Wanting to face Pena at his full capacity, Ryan and coach John Danaher decided to pull from the fight and give FloGrappling time to find a replacement. Ryan messaged Pena privately to apologize, but was rebuked by his Brazilian rival. Pena would post their DM exchange to his Instagram page, showcasing his curt response to Ryan’s explanation. “I fought you on the same day my friend died and now you can’t fight because of a bad stomach?” Pena asked, referencing the murder of Leandro Lo last August and their subsequent match at WNO: Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena.

Stepping in is another export of the Garden State. Hot of the heels of their public steroid dispute, Nick Rodriguez accepted the match on three days notice according to a news update from FloGrappling. To accommodate both fighters, the match has changed from no-time limit to a 30-minute bout.

Rodriguez and Pena last fought at the 2022 ADCC’s, where Rodriguez managed a points victory over Pena to advance in the tournament. Their newly scheduled bout will take place Saturday, February 25, with the undercard card starting at 9pm ET on YouTube and Facebook and the main card starting at 10pm ET on FloGrappling.

Kevin Bradley is a Jersey-based grappling journalist for Bloody Elbow. He began writing for the site in 2022, and has covered both BJJ and MMA news since 2018. (full bio)

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