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Sub Only/No Time Limit: Gordon Ryan vs Keenan Cornelius

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This past Saturday, Jiu Jitsu fans were treated to an excellent no gi black belt match between two of the best in the world, Danaher Death Squad competitor, Gordon Ryan and Andre Galvao black belt, Keenan Cornelius. Hosted by Grappling Industries in New York, the two highly decorated champions fought each other in a sub only, no time limit match. What transpired would make for a highly unforgettable match.

The back story on this goes back to when Gordon Ryan won EBI’s absolute tournament. Afterwards, he called out Keenan Cornelius, the famed black belt from Atos Academy. Cornelius twice beat Ryan’s mentor, Garry Tonon twice  in competition. This match would be a great set up as Ryan could avenge Tonon’s loss in battle. The two agreed to compete in a submission only, no time limit style match. With no breaks and no points, whoever could last would be declared the winner.

The match started out like how most would have thought. Gordon sat down and played butterfly guard, a position that the Danaher competitors are very skilled at. Keenan opted to do what he does great, and that is to push the action with on-point passing. The two would go this route, with Ryan trying to entangle legs, and Cornelius trying to use some tight passing. The match would start taking a different tide.

As Keenan could not pass then hold position, he opted to play some seated guard himself, trying his hand at the 50/50 guard. Keenan had some good success from working his 50/50, but could not put Gordon in any real danger. The match would go on for well over an hour long, with Keenan trying to play guard off of his back, and Ryan working passing techniques.

After awhile more, Gordon and Keenan would go into another leg battle, with Gordon playing the inside sankaku position and Keenan attempting to play 50/50. Eventually, Ryan was able to move Keenan’s top leg over, putting out bait to make Keenan defend that top leg. Ryan then switched over to the trapped leg, and was able to secure a quick heel hook victory.

This win was a huge victory for Gordon Ryan. Once again, he proved that he is the real deal, by submitting another world Jiu Jitsu champion. He also continued to show the ever so effective style of leg locking taught by John Danaher. With this win, Gordon will now go on to compete at EBI 8, hopefully taking another title home to New York.


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