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Third Coast Grappling Results, Gordon Ryan Ends Wrestling vs BJJ Debate

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DECEMBER 8, 2019, Houston, Texas was the home for another event by the local professional fighting promotion 3rd Coast Grappling, an event that has been gaining traction in the jiu-jitsu industry, particularly in the Gulf Coast’s region.

With a mix of international grappling stars such as Rômulo Barral, Edwin Najmi, Lucas Valente and Jake Shields, and local talent, the promotion also headlined the highly anticipated match between the current open weight ADCC champion Gordon Ryan, who has been widely regarded as the best pound-4-pound no-gi grappler in the world for the past couple of years, versus one of freestyle wrestling’s top competitors, Bo Nickal – a 3x NCAA and U23 World Champion in that variety.


The match followed a very peculiar ruleset, one that tried and merge the sport of grappling and wrestling without giving too much of an edge to either athlete. As such, no guard-pulling was allowed and neither were lower limb submissions, which would place Ryan ahead, while if a takedown did take place, the wrestler, Nickal, was forced to engage on the ground.

Unfortunately, for the fans, the match was not an easy one to follow, and not for lack of trying on Gordon’s part; Nickal’s plan was clear from the get-go, disengage from any exchange until the last minute of the match, by pushing and shoving, probably thinking a takedown near the end would grant him the points and the win, hoping to survive on the ground with the clock in his favor.

Ryan tried to push the pace early on, with a double leg takedown attempt and 3 very good kani basami entries (scissor takedown). This is an entry commonly used by the Danaher Squad as a way to achieve saddle control to attack the legs, but Ryan successfully used it to come on top, conquering the first two points on the scoreboard. After a scramble, both athletes went out of bounds and were stood up. Although behind on points Bo continued to refuse to engage.

It took over 12 minutes and Gordon Ryan to walk backwards towards Bo for him to finally initiate a takedown, a suplex none the less, given that Ryan was walking back. Once they hit the ground, in just over 1 minute Gordon achieved the submission. A Marcelo Garcia type violin armlock control to a triangle choke. Nickal did pick Ryan off the ground for the slam, but the impact just made the strangle tighter and the wrestler was forced to tap.


Andressa Cintra def. Veronica Messina by Golden Score in overtime

– Pedro Marinho def. Joao Matos by armbar

Lucas Valente def. Don Zani by inside heel-hook

Edwin Najmi def. Ben Leny by Darce choke

Romulo Barral def. Jake Shields by decision

Gordon Ryan def. Bo Nickal by triangle choke


5050 Guard Instructional by Lachlan Giles

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