Interesting Facts About Gordon Ryan
When we talk about the BJJ legends, it is impossible to complete the discussion without the name of Gordon Rayan. He has become a prominent BJJ figure in recent years. Having a graceful personality and impeccable grappling techniques has enabled Gordon Rayan to win the public’s hearts.
However, the BJJ journey of Gordon Rayan is quite exciting for the fans to read and listen to. Indeed, Gordon Ryan, often named “The King”, is one of the most talented No Gi competitors in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The 27-year-old No gi champion has significant followers across the globe.
Now, let’s dive directly into the interesting facts about Gordon Rayan that most of you must be unfamiliar with.
“The King” And “The Iron Dragon” – Nick Names
Ryan is known by two nicknames: “The Iron Dragon” and “The King.” He got the nickname “The Iron Dragon” during his tenure as the EBI Champion.
Subsequently, after a series of victories against prominent figures in BJJ No Gi matches, Ryan began referring to himself as “The King,” often wearing a crown and a robe.
Journey From Rags To Riches
Ryan was raised in a financially struggling family. He worked full-time as a sanitation worker to fund his BJJ training. Once he had saved sufficient money for his BJJ education, Ryan left his job to devote all his time to his martial arts profession.
He is now one of the top-earning grapplers in the BJJ world. He possesses a house worth 1.2 million dollars and high-end cars, frequently shown in photos on his social media.
Gordon Ryan’s Family
Gordon Ryan was raised by his parents in New Jersey. His parents, Trish Ryan and Gordon “Big Gord” Ryan Sr., consistently backed his enthusiasm for BJJ. He has a younger sibling, Nicky Ryan, who is a black belt under John Danaher. When Gordon was just seven years old, his parents were involved in a land conflict with his grandparents and lost. Despite their financial struggles, Gordon maintained a strong bond with his parents. He often shared photos of his parents on his Instagram profile. His parents were regular spectators at his matches and training sessions, particularly his father.
Gordon Ryan’s Sibling, Nicky Rayan, Is Youngest Ever ADCC Participant
Gordon Ryan’s younger sibling, Nicky Ryan, is the youngest competitor in ADCC history. At the age of 16, he chose to leave school to concentrate on his BJJ career. Nicky also left the squad when Gordon Ryan and John Danaher parted ways following the dissolution of Danaher’s Death Squad. Nicky Rayan teamed up with Vraig Jones, Ethan Crelensten, and Nick Rodriguez to establish the B Team.
Earned His Black Belt In Just Five Years
Ryan embarked on his BJJ journey at 15 years old. His passion and dedication towards the no gi were intense. After securing the World Champion and the First Newaza Challenge Champion titles, Ryan was promoted to black belt status. He earned the highest BJJ belt at the age of 20 by Garry Tonon and John Danaher in February 2016.
Gordon Rayan Submitted Only Once
Throughout his entire black belt career, Ryan was only submitted once. During the Studio 540 Super fight, Ryan was submitted by Felipe Pena using a rear naked choke. This event marked the start of a competition between Ryan and Pena, with Pena defeating Ryan once more at the ADCC World Championship 2017.
A highly anticipated rematch was set up between Ryan and Pena at the 2022 Who’s Number One event. After a grueling 44 minutes, Ryan emerged victorious over Pena through a technical submission. Pena later stated that he was not in the right mental state for the match due to the passing of his close friend, Leandro Lo. Despite this, FloGrappling did not grant his request for a rematch.
Initial Exposure To Brazilian Jiu Jitsu At A Childcare Center
Ryan’s first encounter with MMA was through a daycare instructor who was an avid UFC enthusiast and frequently demonstrated various BJJ techniques. During a shopping trip with his mother, Ryan spotted a BJJ gym. It was the moment that Ryan decided to pursue BJJ. He began his BJJ training under the guidance of Mageul Benitez.
Journey To Become The No Gi Champion
Upon starting training with John Danaher, Ryan met numerous skilled No Gi BJJ athletes who motivated him to master this combat style. In due course, Ryan emerged as the No Gi World Champion in the brown belt category. Subsequently, he got the No Gi Black Belt World and Pan Championships titles.
BJJ Instructors Of Gordon Ryan
Ryan embarked on his BJJ journey with Miguel Benitez at the age of 15. His stay was brief as he soon relocated to New Jersey to get instructions from Tom deBlass. While honing his skills at deBlass’s dojo, Ryan met and started training with Garry Tonon, deBlass’s most distinguished and successful student. Subsequently, Ryan was introduced to John Danaher, Tonon’s guide, and began commuting to New York daily to train with him at the Renzo Gracie Academy.
Highest Submission Percentage
Ryan achieved the highest submission rate, having won 80 out of his 98 matches, equating to % submission rate of 82%. He won over numerous renowned BJJ champions. It includes:
- Keenan Cornelius
- Vagner Rocha
- Nick Rodriguez
- Matheus Diniz
- Tim Spriggs
- Craig Jones
- Garry Tonon
- Ralek Gracie
- Marcos Souza
- Vitor Shaolin
- Tim Spriggs
- Pedro Marinho
- Lachlan Giles
- Kaynan Duarte
- Max Gimenis
- Mohamed Aly
- Romulo Barral
- Felipe Pena
- Andre Galvao
Possess Multiple Sponsors
Ryan has already earned a significant amount of money from Jiu Jitsu tournaments, enough to transform his life. He is backed by several major brands, contributing a large portion of his earnings. Bitcoin Cash, one of his most significant sponsors, provided $100,000 in ADCC 2022. Recently, Ryan has also managed to secure a sponsorship deal with FloGrappling for the year 2023. Multiple-Time ADCC Champion
Ryan is a quadruple ADCC world champion and a single-time ADCC Superfight victor. In 2019, he had to undergo surgery due to a tear in his lateral collateral ligament (LCL). This surgery forced Ryan to take a break from BJJ training for a while. Fortunately, his injured knee healed, and he was able to compete in the ADCC 2019, where he got double gold.
In the 2022 ADCC Superfight, Ryan faced off against Andre Galvao, a seasoned ADCC Superfight champion. Fortunately, Ryan managed to submit Galvao with a rear naked choke, securing his victory in the 2022 ADCC Superfight.
Relationship Status Of Gordon Ryan
Ryan has been in a relationship with Nathalia Santoro since 2016. Santoro is a fitness model, bodybuilder, and brown belt under John Danaher. She has competed in numerous BJJ tournaments. Gordon Ryan met her for the first time at the Renzo Gracie Academy.
Burnt MidNight Oil To Accomplish His BJJ Goals
Ryan adhered to a hectic schedule during his training period with Danaher’s morning class in New York. He used to rise at 5 a.m., depart from his house at 6 a.m., and commute for two hours to reach his BJJ training at 8 a.m. His training would last from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., after which he would shower and rest until noon.
Following the session from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., he required two additional hours to return home. Subsequently, he would proceed to college for lectures from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Afterward, he drove for five minutes to Dante Rivera BJJ Academy for training from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ryan would then commute for another 30 minutes to Brunswick BJJ for training from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Moreover, Ryan proceeded to train with Tonon until 11 p.m. He then went home again and typically fell asleep at 1 a.m. Ryan dedicated seven hours to training and six hours to commuting each day.
Gordon Ryan’s Health Challenges and Medical Treatment
Ryan was initially diagnosed with Helicobacter pylori in 2019, but it was later discovered to be a fungal infection in his stomach. In 2021, he contracted a staph infection and underwent a prolonged course of antibiotics, which led to stomach discomfort.
In 2023, Ryan developed strep throat after returning to Abu Dhabi. His physician prescribed a series of antibiotics, including penicillin and amoxicillin, to treat his inflamed throat, but they proved ineffective. Ryan then switched to clindamycin, which provided temporary relief but did not fully treat the infection. As his health condition fell, medical professionals recommended surgical treatment. Following surgery and a period of healing at home, Ryan is now gearing up to rejoin BJJ tournaments.
In short, Gordon Ryan is a renowned athlete and a champion in No Gi. He has won the ADCC championship four times and has been crowned the ADCC super champion once. Throughout his black belt career, Ryan has defeated numerous prominent BJJ athletes, having been defeated only once himself. Ryan began his BJJ training at the age of 15 and had to put in significant effort to raise the funds required to continue his training.
After years of rigorous training and dedication, Ryan has become the exceptional athlete he is today. He is among the most extensively sponsored athletes in the world of BJJ. Unfortunately, Ryan has been plagued with bacterial infections and stomach pains for the last few years. It is hoped that he will regain his health and return to competition on the mat. All his fans wish him good health and a fast recovery to roll again soon.