Gordon Ryan withdraws from Felipe Pena match, replaced by Nick Rodriguez

Gordon Ryan has withdrawn from his fourth match with Felipe Pena and has been replaced by Nick Rodriguez.

Gordon Ryan is out of his highly anticipated fourth match against rival Felipe Pena.

Ryan was originally slated to face Pena this Saturday in the main event of a Who’s Number One (WNO) event, with Ryan’s WNO heavyweight title on the line. On Thursday night, FloGrappling reported that Ryan was forced to withdraw due to health complications.

Filling in for Ryan will be two-time ADCC silver medalist Nick Rodriguez. The new main event is set for 30 minutes and will be submission-only.

A two-time WNO veteran, Rodriguez defeated Pena by points in the semifinals of the heavyweight division at the 2022 ADCC World Championships. Rodriguez would go on to lose to Ryan in the final by submission, but the pair of former teammates would rematch a few months later at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3, where Rodriguez stepped up on similarly late notice. That time, Ryan defeated Rodriguez by way of control time in overtime.

Ryan released a statement regarding his reasons for pulling out. He says that he developed a high fever and severe stomach issues that began last Wednesday, and he has been suffering from them since. Read his full statement here.

Felipe Pena shares screenshots of conversation with Gordon Ryan

When the news of Gordon Ryan’s withdrawal broke, Felipe Pena posted screenshots of a conversation the two recently had via text in which Ryan explains that he is forced to pull out of the match due to health concerns. Ryan apologizes for his withdrawal, saying that he had “a high grade fever and diarrhea every 30 minutes for the last 4 days straight.”

As Pena points out in his post above Ryan posted on Instagram Tuesday evening that he had been out to dinner with a group of friends, calling into question Ryan’s stated health concerns.

How to watch: WNO: Pena vs. Rodriguez takes place on Saturday, February 25 and will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required) beginning at 9 PM ET.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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