MMA Root

Gordon Ryan unsure when, or if, he’ll make transition to MMA – MMA Root

For those eagerly awaiting Gordon Ryan’s MMA debut, it looks like it won’t be happening anytime soon, if ever.

Ryan recently signed with the ONE Championship to compete in grappling and MMA competitions. The multiple ADCC gold medalist who earned his black belt under the command of Harry Thonon – a 6-0 fighter under the ONE flag – has been talking about competing in MMA for several years, but has not completely switched over.

As he told MMA Fighting, discussions with the ONE Championship have been going on for several years, and if he decides to fight, it will only happen with ONE.

“It’s been a long time, actually,” Ryan said of MMA Fighting. “When I won the 2017 ADCC, Harry [Tonon] after that I wanted to start wrestling in MMA. ONE initially contacted Harry and they tried to sign him. They also wanted to sign me, and I thought, yeah. I only had one of my first ADCCs, I was only 22 years old, and I just thought I would be grappling for a few more years and then eventually I would sign up for MMA.

“Then I started sparring and preparing for the MMA battle to learn new skills. Harry is signed to ONE and fast forward to 2019, I hurt my knee. I had a catastrophic knee injury when I needed to undergo LCL surgery and had to rehabilitate myself from that, which brought me straight to the ADCC 2019 camp. Because of this, MMA took a back seat and I couldn’t train for four months, but once I was able to train, I couldn’t focus on MMA. I needed to focus exclusively on Jiu Jitsu to be ready for the 2019 ADCC.

“After that, Chatri sent me another message about MMA classes, and then I won the Absolute, and my main focus was on [competing against] Andre at the next ADCC. So I’m not sure yet that I’m going to do MMA, if I’m going to do it at all, because now my main goal is to have a superfight, which I did not win in no-gi jujitsu. So I said, “If you want, we can get a grappling contract, and if I ever decide to fight in MMA, I will fight for ONE.”

Under the tutelage of John Danaher, Ryan became one of the best and most famous submission wrestlers in the world. The King believes grappling is on the cusp of taking it to the next level in terms of popularity and notoriety, so he and Danaher are not ready to pull the trigger in preparation for an MMA fight.

“When it comes to excitement, I’ve always wanted to fight,” Ryan said. “From a technical point of view, I’m not very close to fighting because I’m just terrible in most areas of MMA. It’s something that I’m kind of torn between, because John really wants me to keep grappling, because now he’s in a position where he can start developing as a real sport, and I’m at the forefront of that. So leaving the fight now – and Jiu Jitsu is my number one love when it comes to fighting – where it is just taking it to the next level would be a disservice to the fight.

“John wants me to keep grappling, but I’m always glad that I end up fighting. The main reason I started Jiu Jitsu was to fight. Now I am in a position where I still want to, but I still need to do something in Jiu-Jitsu before I move in that direction. “

Prior to signing with ONE, Ryan made headlines in the world of combat sports after an altercation with fellow grappling and former Strikeforce veteran Andre Galvao. Ryan defeated Roberto Jimenez in February’s Who’s # 1 grappling tournament, while teammate Craig Jones defeated Ronaldo Sousa’s teammate Junior Galvao by submission to the inside heel.

Ryan is currently hoping for an ADCC Superfight match with Galvao. However, given the current state of the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against discontent may not take place until the summer or early fall of 2022.

When he is only 25, Ryan knows that when he decides to compete in MMA, he will give it his full attention.

“I have a lot of time to compete in MMA,” Ryan explained. “I know that when I go to MMA, I will focus 100 percent on it. If I ever make the transition, I will have contractions here and there, but it seems to me that if I do something, I do it 100 percent. If I can’t concentrate on grappling 100 percent, then I will probably continue to prepare for MMA fights.

“Struggle is simply not something that I am ready to give up now. Maybe I’ll do it in the future, but I love wrestling. You can have a much longer grappling career and it is much more enjoyable to train day in and day out. I love the development of this sport and the innovation that our team is doing. Every day something new happens to John. For the last two or three years he hasn’t been doing the same old thing. We are working on something new every single day. It’s still interesting, it’s still fun for me. I like it and I will not give it up now, but perhaps in the future. “

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