Grappling Bulletin: Big Money side bet raises the stakes for Felipe-Gordon

And as of today, we are 54 days away from ADCC 2022 and 11 days away from Tezos WNO: Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena.

There are two huge events on the horizon and plenty of news to cover from last weekend’s events, so strap in as this is going to be a busy edition of the Grappling Bulletin.

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The high-stakes bet between Felipe Pena and Gordon Ryan

There was already a lot at stake for the match between Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena on August 7, and the stakes were raised even higher to make it one of the highest paying matches in jiu-jitsu history.

In addition to their purses, Gordon and Felipe are betting their own money in this match, with Gordon putting in $100,000 to Felipe’s $10,000.

Yes, it is real. Gordon is so confident that he offered 10 to 1 odds against Felipe Pena.

To ensure the deal materializes, the money has been transferred to an escrow account and the transaction is being overseen by ADCC organizer Mo Jassim. When the match is over, the winner takes it all.

This match has been a long time coming and it’s no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most anticipated grappling superfights that could take place. With Gordon’s heavyweight title belt on the line and the winner walking away with a six-figure sum in addition to their prize money, this match is about more than titles or trophies – it’s a matter of honor.

Felipe Pena holds the distinction of being the only person to have submitted Gordon since 2014, and is the only person to have beaten Gordon twice to a black belt. They last faced each other in the 2017 ADCC Absolute Finals, and that loss has eaten away at Gordon ever since.

Gordon clearly wants to erase the black mark on his career – and that would be by subduing Pena in the most brutal way possible.

How Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena 3 Was Born


Felipe’s motivation for taking so much is less clear. Respected champion and with already two victories over Gordon, he has little to gain by beating him a third time. He’s done well throughout his professional career, so money isn’t a real motivator. A third victory against Gordon would look impressive on his resume, but is it really necessary? It’s not like he has to prove anything. It could be that he really dislikes Gordon to the extent that he wants to physically humiliate him in front of the world.

For the majority of fans, the mere suggestion that Pena could subdue the modern day version of Gordon Ryan is nonsense. It’s been almost five years since they last faced each other and in that time Gordon has become one of the most dominant figures we’ve ever seen in no-gi combat. Memories are short and many new fans may have never seen the games when Pena proved superior.

Many things have changed since then. While Gordon’s career has gone from strength to strength, the same cannot be said for Felipe, who has had mixed results.

It will be a no time limit, submission only match, which means the only way either man will win is to force the other to surrender. No tricks, no strategies, just pure jiu-jitsu against jiu-jitsu. Only a tap can ensure victory.

Considering Gordon’s height advantage, as well as his recent display of dominance against Pedro Marinho, he would appear to be the clear favourite. So much so that few outside Pena’s most ardent supporters consider it a competitive game. Even the enemies (who desperately hope that Felipe is the only person who could silence Gordon) reluctantly admit that their champion may face insurmountable odds.

So how does Felipe win this match? As stated, the only way to win is by submission. But what are his paths to victory? He has sublime stepping skills and his ability to finish with the rear naked choke is among the best in the world. Even still, are these two weapons enough to take out Gordon?

Considering everything we’ve discussed, the truth could be that Felipe Pena might know something that we don’t.

While we struggle to imagine how he can topple the king from his throne, he will dutifully plan and prepare for a match he absolutely believes he can win. Otherwise, why would he face the talkative titan, under Gordon’s favorite rules and in Gordon’s backyard? If he really has an ace up his sleeve, we’ll find out what it looks like on August 7.

Tezos WNO 2022: Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena

Grappling News Roundup

Read on for a breakdown of top news from around the world of jiu-jitsu and grappling.

Pedro Marinho invited to ADCC 2022

  • WNO light heavyweight champion Pedro Marinho has been invited to compete in the 2022 ADCC World Championship.
  • He joins the -99kg division replacing Tim Spriggs who retired for unknown reasons.
  • Before his recent match against Gordon Ryan, Pedro Marinho won double gold at the 2021 Nogi IBJJF World Championships.
  • Over the past 12 months, Marinho has picked up wins over ADCC Champion Roberto Cyborg, World No-Gi Champion Victor Hugo, and ADCC medalists Craig Jones and Vagner Rocha.

2022 ADCC World Championships

Porfirio added to IBJJF Middle-Heavyweight GP

  • Following the withdrawal of Gabriel Arges due to injury, the IBJJF announced that André Porfirio of Fight Sports will replace him in the black belt light heavyweight GP on August 12.
  • Arges, a two-time IBJJF world champion, announced he would not be able to compete due to a knee injury sustained in training prior to the event.
  • Porfirio, the 2021 IBJJF Pan Black Belt Champion in the middle-heavyweight division, represents Fight Sports and trains in Miami.
  • The winner of the GP will claim a cash prize of $10,000. Watch it live on FloGrappling on August 12.

IBJJF FloGrappling Grand Prix 2022

ONE Champ earns rare submission in title defense

  • ONE Championship middleweight champion Reinier de Ridder used a rarely seen jiu-jitsu technique to defend his title last week.
  • The Dutchman put opponent Vitaly Bigdash to sleep with a tight inverted triangle in the first round of the fight.
  • De Ridder is an undefeated jiu-jitsu black belt with a perfect 16-0 record including 11 submissions.
  • The inverted guard triangle was popularized by Braulio Estima in the 2009 ADCC World Championship Final -88 kg when he used it to submit Andre Galvao.

Mikey shares his diet secrets on the Joe Rogan podcast

  • Grappling fans were treated to an in-depth look at Mikey Musumeci’s daily diet and training philosophy through Joe Rogan’s curious conversational style.
  • Appearing on Episode #127 of The JRE MMA Show, Mikey also revealed his next two grappling matches with ONE Championship.
  • Musumeci will face Cleber Sousa for the 135-pound title belt in September, and already has a match with Demetrius Johnson booked for some time in December.
  • The match with Sousa, scheduled for September 30, will be his first game back after surgery to remove his appendix.
  • One of the main talking points throughout the interview was Mikey’s unconventional diet, including his love of pizza and pasta. For an insight into Mikey’s cooking skills, watch this video.

RIP Grand Master Osvaldo Alves

  • FloGrappling has learned of the passing of Osvaldo Alves de Albuquerque, a 9th degree red belt grandmaster in jiu-jitsu.
  • Born in 1938, Osvaldo Alves was known as a practitioner of both judo and jiu-jitsu and is considered one of the most important figures in the development of jiu-jitsu outside of the Gracie family.
  • A jiu-jitsu and judo practitioner who lived and trained in Japan, Alves was a pioneer of modern coaching and athletic training methods. He also introduced many techniques and popularized the use of training exercises.
  • Alves was one of the founding technical directors of the IBJJF and was widely considered the godfather of jiu-jitsu in Manaus, having established an extensive network of black belts in the Amazon city.
  • As a coach he worked directly with athletes such as André Galvao, Ronaldo Jacare, Fredson Paixiao, Bibiano Fernandes and others.

Summary of results


PJ Barch Subs Four in a Row at Sub Only Series VII Welterweights Pro

  • Planet 10 black belt PJ Barch proved why he is one of the best 170-pounders in the United States by stopping four in a row at Sub Only Series VII: The Welterweight Pros.
  • Barch called on Jeremy Pere, Brady Wicklund, John Combs and Chris Wojcik to win the invitational event.
  • Barch had a consistent streak of results, mixing strong wrestling and upper and lower body submissions. Watch the video above to see what we mean.


Johnson wins Rise Invitational Openweight Tournament

  • Devhonte Johnson cruised through the $10,000 RISE Invitational Openweight Tournament, calling on all three opponents in good standing to win the grand prize.
  • Representing Unity Jiu-Jitsu, Johnson introduced Albruce Touaev, Rene Sousa and Jason Rau. Check out each of his matches here (all Fast Subs) here.
  • As one of the biggest events on the East Coast, Rise acts as a showcase for new no-gi talent while providing established names with a platform to inspire others.
  • One of the best matches of the evening was that of Fatima Kline and Sophia Casella, two rising stars of women’s grappling. Check out the game here.

Andrew Tackett loses via Shock Kneebar

  • Wilson Grappling Bros won the three-on-three tag team battle at Combat Sports Coverage 4.
  • In an epic final match, Johnathan Wilson submitted Andrew Tackett in the final 60 seconds of a back-and-forth war, catching the young brown belt in a tight knee cap.
  • Watch the full replay of the event here.