UFC books Gordon Ryan in replacement BJJ main event for Georges St-Pierre

Louis Grasse / Sports Press Photo, IMAGO

UFC’s grappling org, Fight Pass Invitational, has booked Gordon Ryan in a completely new main event after MMA legend Georges St-Pierre recently announced his withdrawal.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz rematch in BJJ cancelled

“GSP” was supposed to make his pro grappling debut to headline UFC Fight Pass Invitational 5, but recently revealed that he sustained a shoulder injury. That planned bout was supposed to be the UFC all-time great’s first return to combat sports since he became a two-division champion in 2017.

St-Pierre had multiple possible opponents named for the grappling match, including UFC vet and BJJ world champ Demian Maia, but the 42-year-old revealed that they landed on Nick Diaz, until the Stockton native got injured as well.

While GSP is out, the BJJ promotion announced that the Hall of Famer will still be part of the commentary team for the event.

MMA: UFC 158-St. Pierre vs Diaz Weigh-In Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in between Georges St.Pierre and Nick Diaz during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Montreal Bell Centre Quebec Canada, EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY 7151250
EricxBolte-USAxTODAYxSports / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

Gordon Ryan steps in for new UFC Fight Pass Invitational 5 main event

With Georges St-Pierre out, officials from the UFC Fight Pass Invitational decided to go with another big name in combat sports, booking BJJ star Gordon Ryan as the new main event. The no-gi superstar has been paired with ADCC vet Mason Fowler to headline the December 9 event.

In the co-main event, BJJ world champ Nicholas Meregali continues his no-gi campaign by taking on his teammate Ryan’s longtime rival in Felipe Pena.

Ryan unsurprisingly took a jab at Pena when news broke, writing “ask and you shall receive. Fans get the long-awaited match against Mason, and we get to see Peña lose…again”

Gordon Ryan returned from spending almost a year in the sidelines to submit an overmatched foe at WNO 20. Apart from helping Jon Jones prepare for his UFC 295 title bout, Ryan now has two matches lined up a little over a week apart: Lucas Barbosa at WNO 21 on November 30, and this Fowler UFC FPI 5 main event on December 9.

Mason Fowler has also been inactive for most of 2023, but winning the absolute tournament at UFC FPI 3 in 2022 likely earned him this chance to take on Ryan. Fowler won gold on two previous ADCC trials in 2021 and 2019, and was the Submission Underground champion in 2020.

When talking about the match up, Fowler simply wrote “to be the best you gotta beat the best.”

UFC Fight Pass Invitational 5 poster features Georges St-Pierre, and BJJ stars like Gordon Ryan and Nicholas Meregali.

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Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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