Photo Credit: @gordonlovesjiujitsu on Instagram

No-Gi Star Gordon Ryan Signs With ACB JJ, Faces Magalhães in Promotional Debut

Gordon “King” Ryan is one of competitive jiu jitsu’s most prolific competitors. At just 22-years-old, the Team Renzo Gracie product has conquered the No-Gi circuit. Ryan recently signed on with ACB JJ, one of the fastest growing grappling promotions in the world.

Apparently, the contract between ACB JJ and Ryan is exclusive, so it seems unlikely that Ryan competes elsewhere in the near future. The contract allows Ryan to compete first at No-Gi, and then transition to the Gi. The latter portion is especially significant because Ryan said in an interview after last year’s ADCC that he was prepared to be “crushing everybody in the gi in 2018”.

Ryan has rapidly ascended through the ranks of jiu jitsu under the tutelage of jiu-jitsu mastermind John Danaher at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City. As a member of the so-called “Danaher Death Squad” (a moniker given to the group for their systematic dismantling of their opponents), Ryan has trained alongside notable veterans like Eddie Cummings, Garry Tonon, Jake Shields, and Georges St. Pierre, among countless others.

Ryan rose to prominence by collecting four Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) titles at EBI 6, EBI 8, EBI 11, and EBI 14, respectively. Having competed largely at welterweight and middleweight, Ryan set out to bulk up in his quest to conquer the largest, most talented athletes on the planet. The move upward proved successful, as Ryan took gold in the 88 kg weight division at last year’s ADCC, defeating Dillon Danis, Romulo Barral, and Keenan Cornelius along the way.

In the absolute division, Ryan submitted Australian standout Craig Jones and fellow ACB JJ-competitor Mahamed Aly en route to the finals. After a points loss to rival Felipe Pena, Ryan returned home with both the silver medal (absolute) and the gold (88 kg). It was then that Ryan announced his plans for in-gi domination. Ryan quickly picked up a gi sponsor, Hypnotik.

It was unknown how “King” Ryan would go about competing in the gi, but that conundrum seems to have been resolved as of now. Per Danaher, Ryan will face the highly decorated Vinny Magalhães. As an ADCC gold medalist, IBJJF No-Gi World champion, and MMA veteran, Magalhães is among the most experienced competitors in the grappling world. Some may remember Magalhães from his days in the UFC and on The Ultimate Fighter 8.

New directions: Exciting news today – Gordon Ryan signed an exclusive contract with the rapidly rising @acb_jj promotion from Russia. This team has done an amazing job of gathering the elite talent pool of current jiu jitsu and putting on first class tournaments around the world both gi and no gi featuring the best athletes in the sport in tournaments and super fights. Mr Ryan will compete initially no gi and then move to gi matches. This represents a major move for Mr Ryan as he will no longer to be able to compete in a wide array of different organizations as he has done his whole career thus far, but @acb_jj puts on many shows so he is hoping to keep his usual high volume of performances this year. The promotion has an interesting show format featuring ADCC and IBJJF rules, but with the twist of five minute rounds and no guard pulling in first minute. Should be very interesting! Mr Ryan is slated to first take on the very talented ADCC gold medalist Vinny Magalhaes. We always regarded Mr Magalhaes as one of the very best opponents the squad faced in EBI – should be an amazing match between two great world champions!

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Ryan’s signing with ACB JJ should come as good news to grappling fans. ACB JJ has gained fame as one of the most stacked, exciting promotions in the world of jiu jitsu. In addition, Ryan’s reported match against Magalhães should be among the year’s best.

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Hey, all! My name is Michael Fiedel, and I'm from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I love everything there is about MMA, particularly jiu jitsu. I do my best to cover what's going on in the sport, and my favorite thing to do is cover up-and-coming prospects. Thanks for reading!