The King’s Final Two Tests
As a fan of the no-gi jiu jitsu scene, there are many amazing characters and athletes to watch and learn from. Some are colorful, and some are no nonsense warriors who treat every match like it’s their last. I feel it’s very rare and unique in our community that we actually have someone who is a bit of both, and his name is Gordon Ryan. What makes Gordon Ryan stand apart from his peers is that he says what he feels, has no problem challenging legends in our sport and does not follow the normal martial arts laws that have been in place forever. The thing that separates him from other athletes who talk a lot of trash is that he actually goes out and does what he says, effortlessly, which is the reason Gordon has the largest following in jiu jitsu today. Check out this CLOSED GUARD breakdown with the King Himself!
With Gordon making his announcement to about a goal to move toward MMA, the king’s current quest is to rule jiu jitsu and be the greatest no-gi grappler of all time. Many in our community think Gordon Ryan is already the greatest ever, but if you’ve ever read a post or a video that Gordon makes regardless of the message, there are two names that are always mentioned by his haters, Buchecha and Felipe Pena. In this article I want to dig into the two matches hardcore jiu jitsu nerds like myself want to see. If you’re like me you want to watch for two reasons, can Gordon actually conquer his last two main adversaries? Or can one of these monsters finally stop the king?
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With ADCC coming up the sport is praying for a legendary matchup between Buchecha and Gordon Ryan in the absolute. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is considered to be the greatest jiu jitsu practitioner of this modern era, he’s fast, big, athletic and all he does is win, and he wins everything. A two-time ADCC world champion in 2013 and 2017, a 13-time World Gi champion at weight and absolute, two-time World No-Gi champion at weight and absolute and the list just goes on and on. Buchecha is facing stiff competition in his particular division with names like Tex Johnson and the phenom Nick Rodriguez but most people have their money on Buchecha due to the amount of experience and freak athleticism he has.
Gordon and Buchecha have never faced off with one another and many like myself were expecting them to compete against each other in the Heavyweight Grand Prix on August 24th. Unfortunately, things never came into fruition because Gordon had to pull out due to injury, yet Gordon still competed this past weekend for Team BJJ Fanatics for the Kinektik Grappling 1 tournament. Despite Lachlan Giles soundly doing most of the work, the world was treated to see an impressive performance from Gordon Ryan. He looked like he never missed a beat, and he submitted everyone they put in front of him. With an 80% knee Gordon was able to hold his own, but Guillherme Vasconcelos is not Buchecha. If these two make it to the final in the absolute, Buchecha will have the slight weight advantage but things will definitely get interesting.
Now, for the number one comment for all Gordon Ryan haters, Felipe Pena. Gordon Ryan cannot escape that name; the only way Gordon can get the Felipe skeleton out of his closet is by beating him. Felipe Pena is the Magic Johnson to Gordon’s Larry Bird, the North Carolina to his Duke. When it comes to rivalries in BJJ today I honestly think it gets no better than these two. Felipe is the total opposite of Gordon personality wise, he’s not a talker, he’s very humble and beside a recent tournament brawl, a pretty calm, cool guy.
The thing that makes Felipe important in this conversation is that he’s beaten Gordon not once, but twice. More importantly, in both matches it always seemed that his jiu jitsu style was the perfect thing to combat Gordon’s submission-oriented game. Now, Gordon supporters are going to say one thing about those two matches, each match, Felipe had a weight advantage. On Jun 22nd Gordon Ryan announced to the world that Felipe and he will be having a super fight in December at almost the same weight to finally decide it all. I say almost because there are a bunch of things flying around Instagram about that. I personally can’t wait for that match. If you’ve seen Felipe’s last performance against Tex Johnson, he was tapped out pretty quickly and violently to a heel hook from 50/50, and leg locks are a DDS specialty.
I am a fan of jiu jitsu, I am a fan of seeing people doing amazing things. I think personally these two people are the last two tests standing in Gordon’s way of being the best in the world right now. So, will the king be able to pass his last two tests? Or will Gordon either fall to a legend or his greatest rival? Damn, I love this sport!!
Gordon Ryan has already changed the course of Jiu-Jitsu with his Guard Passing DVD now he is set to do the same with the Closed Guard! Systemizing Closed Guard will provide the road map to success when in Closed Guard. Update your classic Closed Guard technique with a modern HIGH PERCENTAGE approach to attacking from Closed Guard!