View full results and video highlights from the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3, featuring Gordon Ryan vs. Nick Rodriguez in the main event.
Ryan was initially slated to face Vinny Magalhaes, the last man to defeat him in competition. But when Magalhaes withdrew due to medical issues just a day before the December 15 event, Rodriguez stepped up on short notice, moving from the eight-man absolute tournament into the headlining attraction.
The pair of former Danaher Death Squad teammates had met once before in competition when Ryan heel hooked Rodriguez in the final of the heavyweight division at the 2022 ADCC World Championships.
On Thursday, their match was much closer.
Over the course of the 20-minute submission-only regulation period, Ryan played from his back, constantly attempting to off-balance Rodriguez, who employed a relatively cautious approach from the top position, generally trying to protect his legs while passing from his knees.
The most notable moment of the regulation period came when Ryan achieved a deep leg entanglement. As Ryan looked for an inside heel hook from the 50/50 position, Rodriguez countered with a toehold, seemingly getting a reaction from Ryan, forcing him to bail out of the position.
After no submission in regulation, the match went to EBI-rules overtime.
In the first round of overtime, both men escaped back control in approximately 15 seconds.
In the second frame, Ryan would again escape relatively quickly but would hold Rodriguez for the entire 2-minute period, giving him a sizable lead on escape time.
And in the third and final period of overtime, it would be Rodriguez who held Ryan for the entire period – with Ryan well aware he needed only not to be submitted to win on escape time.
Mason Fowler wins absolute tournament
And in the eight-man absolute tournament, Caio Terra black belt and multiple-time ADCC veteran Mason Fowler impressed with victories over teenage upstart Pat Shahgholi, Patrick Gaudio, and, in the final, New Wave’s Luke Griffith.
Fowler earned submissions in regulation over Shahgholi and Gaudio, showing off his all-around game that includes equally strong guard passing and guard work. In the final, Fowler largely controlled and dominated Griffith during regulation before displaying his excellent EBI overtime skills, winning by the fastest escape time.
To his credit, Griffith was a late-notice replacement, filling in for Rodriguez. Still just 21 years old, the South African defeated Andy Varela in the opening round and teammate Oliver Taza in the semifinal.
Bia Mesquita, Dan Manasoiu win superfights
And in other superfight action, 2017 ADCC champion Bia Mesquita picked up a win over a very game Miesha Tate. After controlling the action through the regulation period, Mesquita secured a rear-naked choke on the former UFC champion in overtime.
Moments after the match, Mesquita announced her intention to transition to MMA, noting that that may have been her final grappling match for some time.
Also, New Wave’s “Big” Dan Manasiou hardly broke a sweat in submitting Ricardo Evangelista. Manasiou wasted no time in passing Evangelista’s guard, moving to mount, and securing a neck crank from top position, all in under one minute.
Full UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3 results
Gordon Ryan def. Nick Rodriguez via fastest escape time in OT
Bia Mesquita def. Miesha Tate via rear-naked choke in OT
Patrick Gaudio def. Haisam Rida via submission (triangle choke)
Mason Fowler def. Pat Shahgholi via submission (armbar)
Luke Griffith def. Andy Varela via rear-naked choke in OT
Oliver Taza def. Richie Martinez via submission (heel hook)
Mason Fowler def. Patrick Gaudio via submission (triangle choke)
Luke Griffith def. Oliver Taza via submission (rear-naked choke)
Mason Fowler def. Luke Griffith via escape time in OT
Dan Manasoiu def. Ricardo Evangelista via submission (neck crank)