Keenan Cornelius Talked About No Time-Limit Match With BJJ King Gordon Ryan
Recently, Keenan Cornelius was a guest on an episode of the El Segundo podcast hosted by Craig Jones. The discussion eventually shifted to his unlimited time bout with Gordon Ryan in 2016. Both Cornelius and Jones have encountered Ryan several times throughout their professional journey, but this was their first match with him on the mats. Cornelius elaborated on how this match came to be:“So Gordon (Ryan) was like this skinny kid from New Jersey and he was talking a bunch of sh*t to Andre (Galvao), as like an internet troll. Like he didn’t really have a following or a fanbase back then, and noone wanted to fight him. He was like trying to challenge people to get fights, and I saw the kid had spunk you know? I was like ‘I’ll fight the guy! He looks like a tough kid, I’ll fight him.’”
In 2016, Gordon Ryan and Keenan Cornelius were in different career positions, so it was unexpected when Grappling Industries succeeded in arranging their match. Ryan had only held a black belt for a short period, while Cornelius had already got an IBJJF No Gi World Championship. Cornelius had made it to the ADCC podium as well. Moreover, Cornelius also shared some details about the discussions that occurred between the two competitors: “The mistake I made was like just thinking it was gonna be a normal fight but the negotiations just got really intense. About the weight cut, how much weight I had to cut. It’s hard to imagine but I actually had to cut like 15lbs to fight Gordon the first time… He actually was 15lbs lighter than me naturally back then, which I think is pretty impressive because he was still really tough at that time but he was only like 180lbs.” Despite being the anticipated winner due to his superior accomplishments, Cornelius was defeated by a heel hook after roughly 90 minutes of combat. Cornelius later elaborated on how the match unfolded and analyzed what he thought were some of Ryan’s most significant advantages: “He had probably one of the best guards I ever felt at that time. Because like I could pass anyone’s guard at that time, or at least I felt like I could, and I couldn’t pass his guard that whole match. I trained hard and I put it on him for an hour, the last half hour I kinda slowed down. Basically I kinda just gave up, he beat me on an endurance level. If you think about it that’s really Gordon’s main strength, it’s just an insane bull-headed persistence right? Like he’ll just keep going forever. You can watch the complete conversation with Keenan Cornelius. It features the part where he talks about his unlimited time bout with Gordon Ryan, posted on the B-Team Jiu-Jitsu’s official YouTube Channel.