After Pena defeated Ryan in their first two encounters in 2016 and 2017, Ryan earned revenge in August of this year when he beat Pena in a no-time-limit match at Who’s Number One. That match lasted roughly 45 minutes and was largely uneventful, with Pena ultimately tapping out before Ryan applied any submission.
Afterward, Pena stated that he did not want to compete that night as he was struggling to cope with the death of his close friend and BJJ legend Leandro Lo, who had been tragically killed less than a day prior.
Now, Ryan and Pena can’t seem to agree on the terms of their fourth match. Pena suggested a time limit for the benefit of fans watching, but according to Ryan, the match is already contracted as a no-time-limit affair. Accordingly, he refuses anything but a no-time-limit stipulation.
Ryan posted about the dispute on his Instagram story:
Importantly, Pena also states that the highly anticipated showdown is tentatively scheduled for late February 2023.
Widely considered the top pound-for-pound no-gi grappler in the world, Ryan is currently enjoying the best winning streak the sport has ever seen. A 2019 ADCC double gold medalist, the New Wave Jiu-Jitsu representative recently cemented his legacy at the 2022 ADCC World Championships where he breezed through the heavyweight division before submitting ADCC legend Andre Galvao in what was likely the most anticipated superfight in grappling history.
Pena is an incredibly accomplished competitor in his own right, but hasn’t seen the same amount of recent success. A multiple time IBJJF gi and no-gi world champion and a 2017 ADCC absolute champion, Pena lost to Nick Rodriguez in the semifinals of the heavyweight division, and Tye Ruotolo in the quarterfinals of the absolute division at the 2022 ADCC World Championships.