Comparing Gordon Ryan’s & Felipe Pena’s Morning Routines & Mindset for the Upcoming Match

Comparing Gordon Ryan’s & Felipe Pena’s Morning Routines & Mindset for the Upcoming Match

FloGrappling’s recent All Access of Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena’s morning and daily routine gave ADCC fans a fascinating glimpse into the daily preparation of each of these amazing Jiu Jitsu champions.  This article will focus on their morning routines and try to draw some conclusions regarding each competitor’s mind-set and approach to developing a winning game plan for their upcoming match. 



Flo arrives in the morning in an upscale Texas suburban neighborhood and knocks on the door of current ADCC Absolute Champion Gordon Ryan.  Ryan answers the door wearing a large, plush brown robe. His $2 million dollar home is palatial, organized and a stunning badge of success for Ryan’s grappling achievements. 

Gordon and FloGrappling talk in his kitchen where he eats his breakfast and discusses the plan for his day.  He will attend John Danaher’s 8am morning class, do a lifting session, attend another training class in the afternoon and will finish up his day with a sauna and ice bath before going to sleep.  Gordon’s triple-workout day (Jiu Jitsu twice and one lifting session) is a testament to his legendary work ethic.  


Gordon finishes up his breakfast and instead of jumping in one of his muscle cars, he gets in his new Toyota Corolla, he comments to Flo that the Corolla is basically a beater car that he uses to get to and from his training and the car is intended as a tool to help him focus on his training and not get distracted with his muscle cars.  

Gordon states, “Weekends are for high testosterone and cool cars, but Monday to Friday I have a miserable, pretty much brand-new Corolla.”  

He also reaffirms his Jiu Jitsu goals for 2023 stating, “So this year I am just going to get focused on just doing Jiu Jitsu”  Hence the boring car that won’t distract him from his grappling goals. 



FloGrappling arrives at Felipe Pena’s place as Felipe is making breakfast.  The apartment is not like Gordon Ryan’s home, but it’s not Pena’s actual place either.  Pena has come from Brazil to prepare for his match with Gordon and it appears he is staying at AJ Agazarm’s apartment. As Felipe makes his breakfast, he tells Flo that eating in the United States is easier to have a healthy diet as food is quicker to prepare.  After Pena eats breakfast he sees AJ on the couch with the Xbox game controller.  Felipe pounces on AJ to wrest the controller from AJ’s hand.  The grappling match starts on the couch, then goes into the kitchen and finally Felipe puts AJ in a standing kimura, forcing AJ to roll, which allows Felipe to take the controller out of AJ”s hands.  

Felipe starts playing Xbox and AJ tells him,”You have one hour.”  

Felipa Pena’s circumstances are certainly different from Gordon Ryan’s.  Pena isn’t staying in a huge home with two fully loaded muscle cars in his garage.  However, Pena seems right at home and relaxed in what might look like a college student’s crash-pad.  His friendship with AJ and his training with Atos may be the right combination for him to get the win in his upcoming match with Gordon Ryan. 


One question that people asked is why Pena hasn’t trained with the B-Team in Texas?  B-Team could certainly offer Felipe Pena some insights into Gordon’s Jiu Jitsu game and some possible things to exploit.  But the simple answer may be that Pena wants to be around other Brazilians and staying with his friend AJ, who also speaks Portuguese, allows him a level of comfortability that he needs.  Pena also doesn’t know Craig Jones really well or the other members of B Team as B-Team is more of an American Jiu Jitsu team, which might make Pena feel out of place.

Hence, Pena’s choice seems to be congruent with his need to stay in a familiar environment with fellow Brazilians, speak Portuguese and gain critical insight from Galvao and Team Atos in their mutual rivalry against Gordon Ryan. 



The big question on everyone’s mind is who will win between Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena.

Gordon has a slight edge in physical strength and stamina.  Felipe is every bit as technical as Gordon and has a slight advantage in attacking from the back.  But this match also has Gordon Ryan with the mental edge as Ryan won the last time because Pena flat out just quit in the middle of their match.  Gordon Ryan mentally broke him.  However contributory to Pena’s loss was the tragic and untimely death of Leandro Lo who was good friends with Felipe Pena.


This next match will definitely have a factor of physical conditioning and strength, but the heavier consideration will be the mental strength and resiliency of each competitor.  Psychologically, Pena has to prepare for Gordon Ryan’s constant pressure and intent to break him again.  Pena has to disrupt Gordon’s intent to make Pena go the distance and to fatigue him.  It doesn’t matter how good Pena’s technique is, Galvao and his team need to address the psychological issue as it will be Gordon Ryan’s primary tactical tool to grind and wear Pena down.  Felipe Pena must find a way to disrupt Ryan’s plan and to make Ryan second guess himself.  In sum, the Gordon Ryan, Felipe Pena match will be a test of will, mental fortitude and psychological exploitation. 

Good Luck To Both Competitors!