Gordon Ryan: The Grappling Legend Who Conquered MMA

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Gordon Ryan is a name that resonates within the combat sports community, as he is considered one of the greatest grapplers of all time. From his early days in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to his dominant run in grappling competitions and now his rise in mixed martial arts (MMA), Ryan has cemented his status as a legend in combat sports. In this article, we will delve into Ryan's background, his grappling career, his approach to training, and his transition to MMA.

Early Life and Grappling Career

Born on July 8, 1995, in Monroe Township, New Jersey, Gordon Ryan started his grappling journey at the age of 15 under the tutelage of his older brother, Nicky Ryan, and world-renowned coach John Danaher. Ryan's natural talent and dedication to the craft helped him quickly ascend the ranks in grappling competitions.

Gordon Ryan's Grappling Career

Ryan's grappling career is nothing short of legendary. He has amassed an impressive record of 58 wins and only two losses in professional grappling competitions. Ryan is known for his methodical approach to grappling and his ability to submit opponents with ease. Some of his biggest accomplishments in grappling include:

  • Five-time ADCC World Champion (2017, 2019, 2019, 2019, and 2022)
  • Three-time IBJJF No-Gi World Champion (2016, 2017, and 2018)
  • Two-time Eddie Bravo Invitational Champion (2017 and 2018)
  • Five-time Grappling Industries Champion (2017, 2018, 2019, 2019, and 2020)

The Gordon Ryan Method: Training for Success

Ryan's success in grappling can be attributed to his unique approach to training, which he calls the "Gordon Ryan Method." This approach emphasizes three key elements: technical proficiency, strength and conditioning, and mental preparation.

Technical Proficiency

Ryan's technical proficiency is unparalleled, as he has a deep understanding of grappling techniques and an ability to execute them flawlessly. He is known for his mastery of the back attack system, which has become a staple in his arsenal. Ryan's ability to control his opponents from the back and submit them with chokes is a testament to his technical mastery.

Strength and Conditioning

Ryan's strength and conditioning program is rigorous, as he believes that physical fitness is crucial to success in combat sports. His training regimen includes weightlifting, cardio, and mobility work, which are all tailored to improve his grappling performance.

Mental Preparation

Ryan places a significant emphasis on mental preparation, using visualization techniques to prepare for competitions. He visualizes his entire match, imagining himself executing his techniques flawlessly while also preparing for worst-case scenarios. Ryan's mental preparation helps him stay focused and composed during matches.

Gordon Ryan MMA: The Next Chapter

Despite his dominance in grappling, Ryan had yet to compete in MMA until recently. In early 2022, Ryan announced that he had signed with ONE Championship, a major MMA promotion based in Asia. Ryan's debut in MMA was highly anticipated, as many were curious to see how his grappling skills would translate to the cage.

Gordon Ryan's MMA

Ryan made his long-awaited MMA debut on March 26, 2022, at ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes in Manila, Philippines. He faced off against Japan's Hiroyuki Tetsuka in a welterweight bout. Despite Tetsuka's experience in MMA, Ryan was able to showcase his grappling skills and secure a first-round submission victory via rear-naked choke.

Ryan's performance in his MMA debut was impressive, but it was not surprising to those who have followed his grappling career. His ability to control his opponent on the ground and submit them with ease is a testament to his technical proficiency. Ryan has expressed his desire to continue competing in MMA, and many fans are excited to see what he can accomplish in the sport.

The Legacy of Gordon Ryan

Gordon Ryan's legacy in combat sports is already secure. His dominance in grappling competitions and impressive debut in MMA have solidified his status as a legend in the sport. Ryan's unique approach to training and his mastery of the back attack system have set him apart from his peers, and his success has inspired many aspiring grapplers and fighters.

Off the mats, Ryan is known for his humble demeanor and his commitment to his craft. He has been vocal about the importance of mental health in combat sports and has been an advocate for athletes to seek help when needed. Ryan's dedication to improving himself both physically and mentally has made him a role model for many aspiring athletes.


Gordon Ryan is a true legend in combat sports, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of grapplers and fighters. His approach to training, technical proficiency, and mental preparation have set him apart from his peers, and his transition to MMA has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with in any combat sport. As Ryan continues to compete and evolve, fans will undoubtedly witness more of his remarkable skills and impressive achievements.


These sources were consulted for information and insights on Gordon Ryan's career and achievements in combat sports, as well as his MMA debut and training regimen. BJJ Heroes is a website dedicated to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and its practitioners, and their article on Gordon Ryan provided valuable information on his grappling career. MMA Fighting is a popular MMA news website that covered Ryan's debut in ONE Championship and provided details on his opponent and the outcome of the fight. Gordon Ryan's own social media accounts provided additional information and insights into his career and training regimen.

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