Right now, Gordon Ryan believes he is the best no-gi grappler in the world. Ryan has received two gold medals at IBJJF, awarded gold at ADCC, and received several Eddie Bravo Invitational titles to back up his statement.
Ryan reiterated on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, on “The MMA Hour” that his short-term plans only include Jiu-jitsu. However, MMA is the future for him, it is all just a matter of when.
Gi is just not as exciting for me. I don’t want to invest time into something that’s not as fun as MMA, which is my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal was always to be the best in MMA, not the best in grappling.
In February, Ryan will get a taste of MMA. He will face off against former UFC heavyweight champion Fabro Werdum, who is an elite grappler himself. They will be facing off in the opening round of Combat Jiu-Jitsu tournament on Feb. 22, in Los Angeles. This card will air of UFC Fight Pass. The winner of the match will fight against the winner of the bout between Rustam Chsiev and Josh Barnett. Ryan has already beaten Barnett at Quintet.
It is important to note that palm strikes are legal in Combat Jiu-Jitsu.
Ryan, 23, has only been training in MMA for two months, therefore, a debut fight could be a ways off. In the meantime, Ryan is trying to make jiu-jitsu more appealing to the masses. According to MMA fighting, that seems to include a fair amount of trash talk on social media.
I’m really trying to turn grappling into a spectator sport. The whole thing is 95 percent of people who watch grappling events actually do grapple. They participate in the sport. Whereas, it you look at 95 percent of the people who watch NBA or NFL, they don’t participate in the sport. So the whole thing is how can we make grappling into a spectator sport be breaking that barrier and getting people from outside the sport to actually watch jiu-jitsu events?
Ryan does not subscribe to the ideals that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a pure martial art where respect and humility are paramount. He believes in the idea that BJJ began that way is “fake.”
That’s not what jiu-jitsu is created on at all. The Gracies used to beat up people just to prove that jiu-jitsu was the better martial art in Brazil. People have this fake idea where they think you should be like humble and respectful, but that’s not always the case.
In 2019, Ryan has Combat Jiu-Jitsu in February, something big in August he said he cannot announce yet, and ADCC in September. Perhaps after that he will make an earnest foray into MMA but maybe not. Ryan said his coach, John Danaher, mentor for fighters like George St-Pierre, does not want him to begin competing in the cage until he reaches a higher level – an extremely high level.
I’m just gonna keep training in MMA. And whenever John thinks I’m ready to fight, I’m gonna have my first fight. He doesn’t want me to take my first match until I’m on Jon Jones’s level, he says. So hopefully it’ll just take me 10 years to actually have a debut.
Right now, Ryan says he believes he can win MMA fights. However, that is far from what he wants to accomplish. Ryan has a grappling-to-MMA blueprint to follow. His teammate and mentor Garry Tonon is 3-0 in ONE Championship with all finishes.
I’m terrible right now. I’m getting better, definitely. I think I can go in and beat low-level guys for sure. … I feel like I can go out and beat mid-level guys. But I don’t want to beat med-level guys. I want to beat like world-champion level athletes.
By Jeanette Smith
MMA Fighting: Jiu-jitsu ace Gordon Ryan says ‘ultimate goal’ is to be ‘best in MMA’
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