gordon ryan

Gordon Ryan: Grappler Profile

Gordon Ryan is a name synonymous with excellence & domination in the world of NoGi jiu jitsu and submission grappling. He has carved a niche for himself with his unparalleled skills, dedication, and passion for the sport. This article delves deep into the life, achievements, and challenges of this jiu-jitsu maestro.

Early Life and Introduction to Jiu-Jitsu

Born on July 8, 1995, in Monroe, New Jersey, Gordon’s tryst with jiu-jitsu began at the tender age of 15. Under the guidance of Miguel Benitez, he took his first steps into the world of grappling. However, destiny had bigger plans for him, and soon he was under the wing of the legendary Tom deBlass.

As a budding white belt, Gordon’s path crossed with Garry Tonon, a name revered in the grappling circuit. Tonon’s influence on Ryan’s career was profound. Under Tonon’s mentorship, Ryan began making frequent trips to New York, training with another jiu-jitsu legend, John Danaher. This period was instrumental in shaping Ryan’s techniques and understanding of the sport.

A younger Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon (Source: jiujitsutimescom)

Achievements and Accolades

Gordon Ryan’s trophy cabinet is a testament to his prowess. Some of his notable achievements include:

  • WNO Heavyweight Champion (2022)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Tournament (2017 / 2019** / 2022)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2018**)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans No-Gi Championship (2018***)
  • 1st Place Quintet 3 (2018*)
  • 1st Place EBI 6 (2016*)
  • 1st Place EBI 8 (2016)
  • 1st Place EBI 11 (2017)
  • 1st Place EBI 14 (2017*)
  • 1st Place Kinektic 1 (2019)
  • 1st Place Grappling Industries (2017***/2016***)
  • 2nd Place ADCC World Championship (2017*)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute
*** Double gold, all submissions

Making History at ADCC 2022

September 2022 was a landmark month for Ryan. At the ADCC World Championship, he not only challenged André Galvão for the open weight belt but also made an unprecedented request to compete in the +99 kilogram division. This bold move paid off, with Ryan clinching both the +99 kg gold medal and the open weight superfight belt, etching his name in the annals of jiu-jitsu history.

Gordon Ryan vs Andre Galvao ADCC 2022 (Source: Tatame)

Health Challenges and Temporary Retirement

Despite his soaring career, Ryan faced significant health challenges. A prolonged antibiotic treatment in 2018 led to severe stomach issues. Initially misdiagnosed, a later evaluation revealed a “yeast and bacterial overgrowth” in his stomach. This setback forced Ryan to take a hiatus from competition in May 2021, leaving fans and followers in shock.

After a trip to Abu Dhabi, Ryan was struck with an intense case of strep throat, which led to an extended hospital stay. Despite undergoing multiple rounds of antibiotics, his condition worsened as his throat began to close up. After battling the infection with various antibiotics for over 40 days, Ryan eventually had to undergo a tonsillectomy. Compounding his health challenges, Ryan also faced stomach issues stemming from a fungal growth in his small intestine, which he likened to experiencing the most severe hangover imaginable. These stomach problems resurfaced while he was being treated for his throat, further delaying his training and competition plans. Ryan has been transparent about his health journey, updating his followers on Instagram and expressing his eagerness to return to the sport in the coming months.

Where does gordon ryan train?

Gordon currently trains at New Wave Jiu Jitsu in Austin, Texas.

July 2021 saw a seismic shift in the jiu-jitsu community with the dissolution of the Danaher Death Squad. However, like a phoenix, Ryan and John Danaher emerged with a new vision, introducing their new team, New Wave Jiu-Jitsu, marking a new chapter in Ryan’s illustrious career.

The New Wave team boasts a roster of world-class trainers and grapplers, including the likes of John Danaher, Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, and Giancarlo Bodoni. Their impressive performances at events such as the ADCC World Championship 2022 are a testament to their prowess and dedication to the sport. With a commitment to excellence and a revolutionary approach to jiu-jitsu, the New Wave Jiu Jitsu gym is poised to make significant waves in the grappling world.

To learn more about New Wave BJJ check out the team profile here

Danaher & Ryan at New Wave in Austin TX (Source: Flograppling)


Gordon Ryan’s journey, filled with highs and lows, serves as an inspiration for many. His dedication, passion, and resilience have not only earned him titles but also the respect and admiration of the global grappling community. Though he has been a controversial figure at times, there’s no doubt he is among the top names to put professional grappling on the map globally.

Social Links

If you want to stay up to date with Gordon check out his channels and social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gordonlovesjiujitsu/

See Also

Gordon Ryan’s apparel and NoGi gear.


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