Gordon Ryan takes on Felipe Pena for the fourth time this Saturday, February 25th in the main event at Flograppling’s Who’s Number One (WNO). This time, the rivalry has Gordon defending his WNO heavyweight title as well as looking to back up his social media smack talk.
The card also features a match between WNO light heavyweight champion Pedro Marinho taking on 2022 ADCC champion Giancarlo Bodoni. Pedro defeated Craig Jones in Janurary of last year to become the WNO light heavyweight champion. He didn’t have a great showing at ADCC and he certainly will not be getting an easy match against Bodoni.
WNO: RYAN VS PENA II – FULL CARD
- Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena (WNO heavyweight title, no time limit)
- Pedro Marinho vs. Giancarlo Bodoni (WNO light heavyweight title)
- JT Torres vs. Magid Hage
- Oliver Taza vs. Jonnatas Gracie
- Jasmine Rocha vs. Amanda Bruse
- Kieran Kichuk vs. Rene Sousa
- Calon Sabino vs. Stephen Martinez
- Dominic Meija vs. Thien Luu-Nguyen
Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena
Since 2018, Gordon Ryan has won an incredible 54 matches without taking a loss. These include 52 victories and 2 draws. Establishing a daunting record of 98-5.
80 of those wins were by submission. Out of his 5 losses, one of those stands out. He has lost only once by submission, and that was to Pena in 2016.
Pena is the only person to have submitted Ryan in competition since his time at black belt. In 2016, Pena submitted Ryan with a rear-naked choke after a grueling match lasting over 40 minutes.
This is Pena’s only submission win over Ryan but he holds a 2-1 all-time record against Ryan. After their submission-only match in 2016, the two would meet again in the absolute division finals at the 2017 ADCC World Championships. Pena took the gold in this match and showcased his leg lock defense and back takes.
As even causual fans will notice, Ryan was not quite the same build as he is now in either of those matches.
Not only has his physic evolved, but so has his jiu-jitsu skills. When Ryan first came into the jiu-jitsu limelight, he was mostly seen as an advanced leg locker. Since then, Ryan has proved to have an extremely well-rounded game, consisting of methodical guard passing, dangerous leg locks, and dominant pressure. And, it all comes with an unprecedented level of trash talk.
Last August, the two met for the third time in a no-time-limit match for the WNO heavyweight title. Ryan earned his first victory against Pena after 45 minutes with an unsatisfactory ending. Pena verbally tapped when he was in no danger, ending the match abruptly.
Although the match did not have a more decisive ending, both competitors put on a great show of skills. Ryan hit a pair of nice takedowns during the match and Pena showed he can still give Ryan more trouble than most, displaying his impressive guard.
The third match occurred hours after the tragic death of Leandro Lo hit the BJJ community. Pena later explained he was in no state to compete and was an emotional wreck.
As stated, this weekend’s match is another no-time limit face-off between the two. Pena has teamed up with Andre Galvao and Atos HQ for his training camp leading up to the match. His technique has no major holes, but he’ll need his endurance to show up as well.
Ryan has been a dominant force for the past couple of years. He has clearly gotten more methodical, and strategic, and as we can all noticeably tell, he is a much larger human than in years past.
Pedro Marinho vs. Giancarlo Bodoni
Giancarlo Bodoni made everyone take notice after taking the gold in the -88kg division at the 2022 ADCC World Championships. Pedro Marinho lost to Vagner Rocha at the same event. While Bordoni will be showing if his ADCC success was a fluke, Marinho will be looking for every opportunity to submit the champ and defend his WNO light heavyweight title.
Since his time at New Wave Jiu-Jitsu, Bodoni had increased his submission game with an arsenal of dangerous leg locks. He is also well known for his many methods of back-taking and pressure.
Marinho typically keeps a higher pace than Bodoni. He has a laser-sharp front guillotine choke that he’ll be looking to slap around Bodoni’s neck at any moment.
Each athlete has high-level guard passing that may prevent either from conceding the bottom position. New Wave Jiu-Jitsu has been stepping up their takedown game, so we may see Bardoni attempt many different methods to bring Marinho to the mat. Marinho on the other hand may attempt to overwhelm Bodoni with quick and powerful takedown attempts.
JT Torres vs. Magid Hage
JT Torres didn’t have the ADCC he was hoping for in 2022, losing in the first round. He is looking to show why he is a two-time ADCC champion when he takes on jiu-jitsu wizard, Magid Hage. Hage will look to threaten with unorthodox submissions every chance he gets. Torres is known for his pressure passing and will likely be looking to impose his dominant force. He’ll need to be cautious, perhaps even in positions he is normally fairly comfortable, as Hage can pose unique threats from anywhere.
Oliver Taza vs. Jonnatas Gracie
Oliver Taza has been heavy in the competition scene as of late when he’s not getting slapped. He has started off 2023 with four victories to date, and he’ll be looking to add another this Saturday. The leg lock specialist will go to battle against IBJJF no-gi world champion Jonnatas Gracie. Gracie is a specimen of a human, with a solid defensive game that can shut down most offensive attacks. Oliver may struggle to get Jonnatas to open up, but Jonnatas will need to open up his game to pull off a win.
Jasmine Rocha vs. Amanda Bruse – Submission Only
The much-anticipated rematch between Jasime Rocha and Amanda Bruse will also take place Saturday night. The ladies met in the semifinals of the 2022 ADCC West Coast Trails, where Rocha won via decision. Bruse did not go down easily, attacking Rocha with numerous submissions throughout the match. Unfortunately for Bruse, Rocha’s wrestling helped pull off the decision win. Keep your eyes on this one, as it has everything set for an exciting match. These two relentless competitors are set for a submission-only bout and they are the only ladies’ match on the card.
Kieran Kichuk vs. Rene Sousa
The first bout on the main card has the potential for fireworks as well. Submission attempts are sure to be flying as leg locker Kieran Kickuk takes on 10th Planet black belt, Rene Sousa. If Sousa can avoid the leg lock hunting of Kickuk, there’s a chance we’ll see something unusual from his arsenal. Most notably, the 10th Planet black belt has some of the best buggy chokes we’ve seen.
You can tune into WNO: Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena II on Saturday, February 25.
The broadcast will begin at 9:00 PM EST.
The preliminary card will be available for free on FloGrappling’s YouTube channel.
The main card will air on FloGrappling (subscription required).