Gordon Ryan is a New Jersey (USA) born grappler and member of the well-known group – Danaher Death Squad (DDS), known particularly in jiu-jitsu‘s no-gi and submission-only circuit where he beat big names of the sport such as Alexandre Ribeiro, Romulo Barral, and Gabriel Arges. A submission-orientated competitor and one of the leading jiu-jitsu figures of his generation, Gordon cemented his name as one of the top brown belts on the planet in 2015 by winning the Newaza Challenge and No-Gi World Championship, which led to his black belt promotion under Garry Tonon – this way becoming Tonon’s first-ever student to achieve the rank, a belt responsibility shared with another one of Gordon’s mentors, John Danaher. Gordon went on to become one of the most successful no-gi grapplers of all time by winning back-to-back ADCC World Championships and other unprecedented achievements in the promotion (see below).
Gordon Ryan Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Gordon F. Ryan III
Nickname: During his time as EBI champion, Gordon Ryan was announced on stage as “The Iron Dragon”, which was less of a jiu-jitsu/Brazilian culture style nickname with a goofy backstory, and more of a marketing fight-name as seen in boxing and MMA fighters. More recently, after his undoubted success against some of the best grapplers in the world, Ryan started calling himself “The King”. The nickname had the double gratification of boosting Gordon’s credibility among mainstream fans and upsetting his critics.
Lineage 1: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Renzo Gracie > Ricardo Almeida > Tom deBlass > Garry Tonon > Gordon Ryan
Lineage 2: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Renzo Gracie > John Danaher > Gordon Ryan
- ADCC Absolute Superfight Winner (2022)
- WNO Heavyweight Champion (2022)
- 1st Place ADCC World Championship (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*)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- 1st Place IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2015 brown)
- 1st Place Newaza Challenge (2015)
- 3rd Place IBJJF Pans No-Gi Championship (2014 purple)
** Weight and absolute
Favorite Position/Technique: Triangle/Heel-hook
Weight Division: Super-Heavy (100,50 kg / 222.0 lbs)
Team/Association: New Wave
Gordon Ryan Biography
Gordon Ryan was born on the 8th of July, 1995 in Monroe, New Jersey – United States of America.
Ryan’s introduction to jiu-jitsu was made by Miguel Benitez at the age of 15. His tuition would be taken over shortly after by the legendary Tom deBlass – one of New Jersey’s most prominent grapplers.
Months after taking his first steps in the sport, as a four-stripe white belt, Gordon met Garry Tonon. Tonon had just received his brown belt at the time but was already regarded as one of the rising talents in the sport, and deBlass’ most accomplished student to date. The two grapplers became good friends and as Garry started coaching at the Brunswick BJJ academy, Gordon joined his classes, developing his technical abilities also under Tonon’s guidance.
With Garry Tonon’s growing influence in Gordon’s grappling lifestyle, as a purple belt, Ryan started traveling to New York regularly to train with another one of Garry’s mentors – John Danaher. The Renzo Gracie Academy head coach and his methodology were also a big part of Ryan’s success, particularly in the submission-only jiu-jitsu circuit where Ryan’s potential star status was first noticed.
After a stellar 6-month brown belt run, where Ryan won important tournaments such as the Newaza Challenge and the World Championship, Gordon was awarded his black belt by Garry Tonon (February 2016) in a ceremony supported by the presence of Tom deBlass, Ricardo Almeida. and Danaher – who shared the responsibility of the new belt rank.
On September 2022 Gordon Ryan competed at the ADCC World Championship, where he was set to challenge the promotion’s open weight (absolute) belt in a superfight against the belt holder, André Galvão. Unhappy with just competing in one match, Gordon requested to compete also in the +99 kilogram division, an unprecedented request given the prestige and cash prize on the title on the line in the super fight. The request was granted by the ADCC top promoter, Mo Jassim and Gordon Ryan went on to make history by being the first athlete to ever win the +99 kg gold medal and the open weight super fight belt of the ADCC in the same year.
GORDON RYAN STOMACH CONDITION
According to Ryan’s social media account (Instagram), after repeated use of antibiotics for a persistent staphylococcus infection (staph) in 2018, the athlete started suffering from stomach issues, which were first diagnosed as Gastroparesis, a condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying.
After suffering from this debilitating condition for nearly 4 years, in May 2021, Gordon officially retired from competition until further notice, explaining to his fans he could not maintain a high standard of training/performance due to his health, as reported by Bloody Elbow (here).
In a later statement, in August 2021, Gordon Ryan posted on his IG account (@gordonlovesjiujitsu) that he had finally been correctly diagnosed by a gastroenterologist (unnamed) with “yeast and bacterial overgrowth” in his stomach. A condition that had started to affect his kidneys as well. In his post’s closing arguments, Ryan added:
“Once we can rebalance the microbiome in my stomach and replenish the bacteria needed to fight the yeast infection, I should be good to go. Fingers crossed we get it in order, which we should.”
DANAHER DEATH SQUAD BREAK-UP
On July 2021, coach John Danaher announced the end of the Danaher Death Squad as a unified training and competition team, alluding to “the physical location of a future school, personality conflicts, conflicting values and an inevitable tension between the team brand and the growing individual brands of members” as the main factors for the split (original statement here).
Later in that month, Gordon Ryan and John Danaher announced the name of their new team: New Wave Jiu-Jitsu. Although the squad lost a few key players at the time, such as Gordon’s brother, Nicky Ryan, Craig Jones, Ethan Crelinsten, and Nicky Rodriguez (all of which went on to form the “B-Team” workgroup), New Wave kept Garry Tonon and Oliver Taza from the remaining Danaher Death Squad.
Cover photo by Nathalia Santoro.
Gordon Ryan Grappling Record
- BY EBI/OT
80 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
1 SUBMISSION LOSSES
Gordon Ryan Fight History
|8858||Tex JohnsonTex Johnson||L||Points||Grappling Ind.||ABS||F||2016|
|11340||Felipe PenaFelipe Pena||L||RNC||Studio 540 SPF||ABS||SPF||2016|
|12569||Leandro LoLeandro Lo||L||Pts: 4x0||ADCC WC Trials||ABS||SPF||2017|
|13938||Felipe PenaFelipe Pena||L||Pts: 6x0||ADCC||ABS||F||2017|
|16347||Vinny MagalhaesVinny Magalhaes||L||Points||ACBJJ 13||O95KG||SPF||2018|
|9124||Ian Murray||W||Inside heel hook||Sapateiro Inv.||ABS||R1||2016|
|9128||Elliott Hill||W||Armlock||Sapateiro Inv.||ABS||4F||2016|
|9130||PJ BarchPJ Barch||W||Kneebar||Sapateiro Inv.||ABS||SF||2016|
|9131||Enrico CoccoEnrico Cocco||W||Inside heel hook||Sapateiro Inv.||ABS||F||2016|
|9452||Pat Sabatini||W||Inside heel hook||Goodfight Pro||77KG||SF||2016|
|9453||Kevin Berbrich||W||Choke||Goodfight Pro||77KG||F||2016|
|9454||Joshua Bacallao||W||Inside heel hook||PTL Sunday Open||ABS||SF||2016|
|9456||Nathan Orchard||W||Reverse triangle||PTL Sunday Open||ABS||SPF||2016|
|9487||James Partridge||W||Inside heel hook||Onnit Inv. 2||ABS||SPF||2016|
|9671||Jacen Flynn||W||RNC||EBI 6||ABS||R1||2016|
|9678||Marcello Salazar||W||Kneebar||EBI 6||ABS||4F||2016|
|9681||Yuri SimoesYuri Simoes||W||EBI/OT||EBI 6||ABS||SF||2016|
|9683||Rustam Chsiev||W||EBI/OT||EBI 6||ABS||F||2016|
|10355||Keenan CorneliusKeenan Cornelius||W||Inside heel hook||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2016|
|10488||Matt Arroyo||W||Inside heel hook||EBI 8||84KG||R1||2016|
|10496||Mike Hillebrand||W||RNC||EBI 8||84KG||4F||2016|
|10500||Josh Hayden||W||EBI/OT||EBI 8||84KG||SF||2016|
|10502||Kyle Griffin||W||Inside heel hook||EBI 8||84KG||F||2016|
|10762||Todd Mueckemheim||W||Kimura||Sapateiro Inv.||ABS||SPF||2016|
|10763||Vagner RochaVagner Rocha||D||---||Sapateiro 2||ABS||SPF||2016|
|11474||Bryan Brown||W||RNC||Sapateiro 6||ABS||R1||2017|
|11481||Antonio CarlosAntonio Carlos||W||Reverse triangle||Sapateiro 6||ABS||4F||2017|
|11485||Jesseray Childrey||W||RNC||Sapateiro 6||ABS||SF||2017|
|11487||Matthew Tesla||W||Reverse triangle||Sapateiro 6||ABS||F||2017|
|11675||Joe Baize||W||Reverse triangle||SUG 3||ABS||SPF||2017|
|12005||JP Lebosnoyani||W||RNC||EBI 11||77KG||R1||2017|
|12013||C. MacKarski||W||Arm in guillotine||EBI 11||77KG||4F||2017|
|12018||Marcel GoncalvesMarcel Goncalves||W||Short choke||EBI 11||77KG||SF||2017|
|12019||Vagner RochaVagner Rocha||W||RNC||EBI 11||77KG||F||2017|
|12374||Lucas BarbosaLucas Barbosa||W||Referee Decision||F2W 30||92KG||SPF||2017|
|12916||Eliot KellyEliot Kelly||W||Triangle armbar||F2W 34||ABS||SPF||2017|
|13645||M. Jokmanovic||W||Kimura||Grappling Ind.||ABS||4F||2017|
|13646||Tex JohnsonTex Johnson||W||Reverse triangle||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SF||2017|
|13647||D. Johnson||W||RNC||Grappling Ind.||ABS||F||2017|
|13882||Dillon DanisDillon Danis||W||Referee Decision||ADCC||88KG||E1||2017|
|13886||Romulo BarralRomulo Barral||W||RNC||ADCC||88KG||4F||2017|
|13888||Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre Ribeiro||W||Referee Decision||ADCC||88KG||SF||2017|
|13890||Keenan CorneliusKeenan Cornelius||W||Mounted guillotine||ADCC||88KG||F||2017|
|13930||Roberto AbreuRoberto Abreu||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC||ABS||E1||2017|
|13934||Craig JonesCraig Jones||W||Katagatame||ADCC||ABS||4F||2017|
|13935||Mahamed AlyMahamed Aly||W||Heel hook||ADCC||ABS||SF||2017|
|14502||Ralek Gracie||W||Reverse triangle||Metamoris||ABS||SPF||2017|
|14538||D. Borovic||W||Outside heel hook||EBI 14||ABS||R1||2017|
|14546||P. Donabedian||W||Armbar||EBI 14||ABS||4F||2017|
|14550||C. Hellenberg||W||EBI/OT||EBI 14||ABS||SF||2017|
|14552||Craig JonesCraig Jones||W||EBI/OT||EBI 14||ABS||F||2017|
|14573||Yuri SimoesYuri Simoes||W||RNC||Kasai Pro||ABS||SPF||2017|
|17398||Max GimenisMax Gimenis||W||RNC||No Gi Pan Am.||ABS||SF||2018|
|17400||Kaynan DuarteKaynan Duarte||W||RNC||No Gi Pan Am.||ABS||F||2018|
|17451||Charles McGuire||W||Tarikoplata||No Gi Pan Am.||O97KG||SF||2018|
|17453||Max GimenisMax Gimenis||W||RNC||No Gi Pan Am.||O97KG||F||2018|
|17726||Josh Barnett||W||Triangle||Quintet 3||ABS||SF||2018|
|17727||Marcos SouzaMarcos Souza||W||RNC||Quintet 3||ABS||SF||2018|
|17728||Roberto SatoshiRoberto Satoshi||D||---||Quintet 3||ABS||SF||2018|
|17740||Craig JonesCraig Jones||W||Short choke||Quintet 3||ABS||F||2018|
|17741||Vitor ShaolinVitor Shaolin||W||Armbar||Quintet 3||ABS||F||2018|
|17742||Gregor GracieGregor Gracie||D||---||Quintet 3||ABS||F||2018|
|18677||Evangelous Moumtzis||W||Armbar||NoGi Worlds||O97KG||R1||2018|
|18686||Yuri SimoesYuri Simoes||W||Pts: 11x0||NoGi Worlds||O97KG||SF||2018|
|18687||Roberto AbreuRoberto Abreu||W||DQ||NoGi Worlds||O97KG||F||2018|
|18696||Kalil Fadlallah||W||Choke||NoGi Worlds||ABS||R1||2018|
|18702||Vegard Randeberg||W||RNC||NoGi Worlds||ABS||R2||2018|
|18707||Patrick GaudioPatrick Gaudio||W||Pts: 4x4, Adv||NoGi Worlds||ABS||4F||2018|
|18710||Jackson SousaJackson Sousa||W||RNC||NoGi Worlds||ABS||SF||2018|
|18711||Yuri SimoesYuri Simoes||W||Pts: 0x0, Adv||NoGi Worlds||ABS||F||2018|
|19009||Joao RochaJoao Rocha||W||Pts: 1x0||Kasai Dallas||120KG||SPF||2019|
|21356||Gabriel Checco||W||Kimura||Kinektic 1||ABS||R3||2019|
|21357||Rafael Domingos||W||RNC||Kinektic 1||ABS||R4||2019|
|21358||G. Vasconcelos||W||Arm in guillotine||Kinektic 1||ABS||R5||2019|
|21825||Tim SpriggsTim Spriggs||W||RNC||ADCC||99KG||4F||2019|
|21877||Lucas BarbosaLucas Barbosa||W||Pts: 3x0||ADCC||99KG||SF||2019|
|21879||Vinicius TratorVinicius Trator||W||Choke||ADCC||99KG||F||2019|
|21895||Pedro MarinhoPedro Marinho||W||Outside heel hook||ADCC||ABS||R1||2019|
|21902||Garry TononGarry Tonon||W||Choke||ADCC||ABS||4F||2019|
|21905||Lachlan GilesLachlan Giles||W||RNC||ADCC||ABS||SF||2019|
|21907||Marcus AlmeidaMarcus Almeida||W||Pts: 0x0, Pen||ADCC||ABS||F||2019|
|21953||Rousimar PalharesRousimar Palhares||W||Referee Decision||World Festival||ABS||SPF||2019|
|22788||Bo Nickal||W||Triangle||Third Coast III||94KG||SPF||2019|
|22797||Aleksei Oleinik||W||Kneebar||Quintet Ultra||ABS||SPF||2019|
|22910||Gabriel GonzagaGabriel Gonzaga||W||Outside heel hook||SUG 10||ABS||SPF||2019|
|23442||Tex JohnsonTex Johnson||W||Katagatame||Sub Stars||N/A||SPF||2020|
|23513||Pat Downey||W||Verbal tap||BJJ Fanatics GP||ABS||SPF||2020|
|23732||David Newton||W||RNC||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2020|
|23733||Abraham Hall||W||Triangle||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2020|
|23734||Benjamin Dixon||W||RNC||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2020|
|23735||Chad Allen||W||RNC||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2020|
|23736||Austin Tracy||W||RNC||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2020|
|23741||Kyle BoehmKyle Boehm||W||Armlock||WNO||ABS||SPF||2020|
|24068||Matheus DinizMatheus Diniz||W||Inside heel hook||WNO 4||ABS||SPF||2020|
|25164||Roberto JimenezRoberto Jimenez||W||Armbar||WNO 6||ABS||SPF||2021|
|25386||Vagner RochaVagner Rocha||W||Reverse triangle||WNO 7||93KG||SPF||2021|
|31282||Jacob CouchJacob Couch||W||Pressure||WNO 12||O92KG||SPF||2022|
|33618||Pedro MarinhoPedro Marinho||W||RNC||WNO 13||O93KG||SPF||2022|
|34195||Felipe PenaFelipe Pena||W||Verbal tap||WNO 14||ABS||SPF||2022|
|35051||Victor HugoVictor Hugo||W||Pts: 8x0||ADCC||O99KG||4F||2022|
|35055||Roosevelt SousaRoosevelt Sousa||W||Outside heel hook||ADCC||O99KG||SF||2022|
|35057||Nick RodriguezNick Rodriguez||W||Outside heel hook||ADCC||O99KG||F||2022|
|35088||Andre GalvaoAndre Galvao||W||RNC||ADCC||ABS||SPF||2022|
|36911||Nick RodriguezNick Rodriguez||W||EBI/OT||UFC Invitational||ABS||SPF||2022|
Perhaps the most exciting prospect in grappling.
No Gi Worlds 2018 is missing in “Main accomplishments”
Missing are the 4 losses to LI coached DJ Jackson, KR admits to these losses and I personally have met with DJ and talked about those fights.
That’s f’n racist not to include them.
Add the losses by Tonnon and Jones to DJ’s legacy and he goes down in history as the DDS killer!
Gordon never fought against DJ. DJ fought Tonon, yes, but DJ has never faced Gordon Ryan.
How is it racist? Just because some has short end of the stick is a certain color does not automatically mean cause and effect. This racism stuff has gotten old.
Can’t wait for his MMA career to start!
The first true finisher since marcelo. Sky is the limit Gordon. Way to go!
self-proclamed “king”, now take a look at the best actually around: Felipe “Preguiça” Pena
This guy has 20 losses, how is he the best :O
So if you multiple by 4 for no reason I can divide by 5 for no reason so Gordon’s only lost once
This aged well lol