Gordon Ryan explains the ins and outs of greasing in BJJ, proposes drastic penalties

Nick Rodriguez looked well moisturized during ADCC 2019

BJJ competitions have a lot of problems to overcome if the sport is to become a part of the mainstream culture.

For one of the biggest stars of the sport, Gordon Ryan, there’s another requirement – a crackdown on greasing.

In BJJ, “greasing” refers to the illegal practice of applying lubricants such as oil or lotion to one’s body in order to make it more difficult for an opponent to get a grip or hold during a match.

Brief overview of recent greasing accusations


Gordon Ryan and Rodriguez were a part of the same team for years.

Ryan previously pointed to his choice to wear a long sleeve rash guard against Rodriguez at ADCC 2022 as a conscious choice indicating he was aware of Rodriguez’ alleged tactics.

The two would go on to meet during the main event of UFC invitational in which Ryan narrowly escaped with the victory in overtime after Rodriguez managed to pop his ankle during a toe hold attempt.

Rodriguez disputed greasing claims and B team even made skits about the incident.

Why is greasing banned?

This tactic is used to gain an unfair advantage and is strictly prohibited in BJJ competitions. Greasing can also refer to the use of any substance or material on the body that is not allowed under the rules, such as slippery clothing or gear. The use of any form of greasing is considered cheating and can result in disqualification or other penalties for the competitor that’s involved.

Ryan found it ironic that Felipe Pena accused Nick Rodriguez of greasing during yesterday’s match – after Pena had participated in a joke skit featuring Rodriguez’ teammate Craig Jones.

Pena had a lot of sway with the ref, which cause Nick Rodriguez to get wiped down by paper mid match.

Gordon Ryan shares his take on Greasing

Gordon Ryan reacted to the incident on social media:

“Okay. So how do jujitsu athletes grease? A couple of ways. Usually they don’t put Vaseline. You put like Johnson and Johnson lotion on because it stays on longer. It’s like thinner. So it will it will seep into the pores better. ”

“And so how they do it is they don’t usually don’t like I’ve had people who just like grease like a right before and then they just they come out greased but usually what they do is they’ll rub the lotion in like an hour to 2 hours beforehand so that it dries into the skin.”

“Then they’ll do a light warm up, they’ll towel themselves down. So they’re not really sweating any more. So then when they do the pre-fight grease check, if there is one, they’re dry, then the second they start sweating, the pores open up and the lotion comes out and the second the lotion comes out, you just absolutely cannot hold onto anybody.”

“It’s really fun. It’s a real big difference. They’ll take like a bucket or tub the night before the match and they’ll lay backwards and they’ll put their hair in the tub. So only the top of the head in their hair and their scalp.”

“Get get wet with usually baby oil. They’re going to do  that on their hair and they’ll let the baby oil soak for a certain amount of time into their head and they’ll go to sleep and have a dry into to their scalp the next day when they go to warm up, to wear a hat or beanie or a hoodie, so that when they sweat the grease, the initial grease just sweats and it runs into the hat.”

“So then your body’s dry, so then your body has no grease on it. Then the second you start sweating the baby oil runs from the hair down onto the face and then it rubs into the whole body when you start grappling. So that’s another way to do it, just experiment with it.”

“Lotion yourself up and have your body try to hold onto you while you stall. Now, how do we solve this is the question. Long sleeve rash scars and spats are definitely a great way to do it, but there has to be a two tiered approach to the greasing, right?”

“Because if you get caught greasing in a match, it’s hard to DQ a guy, which I think you should DQ him anyways, if you’re doing like a professional event, like, you know, it’s hard to tell investors whoever the case is. ‘Oh yeah, we DQed, you know, the final or the main event match ended in a DQ  because a guy was greasing like that’s kind of a bad look for a professional event’.”

“It’s like basically the friction difference between like training the Gi and training Nogi like shirtless like it’s a huge difference if you don’t believe me, don’t just put lotion on, put lotion on. 10 minutes later, get a sweat going. Once you’re sweating, mix with the lotion, then roll their body and have them try to hold on to you. And if you want to get real, real frisky, do it shirtless and you’ll see greasing is a serious f***ing problem.”

“And the penalties don’t really mean much in a who’s number one like ruleset. So it has to be a two tiered approach. Okay.  And it can’t just be a financial penalty. Like I think if you get caught greasing like blatantly Nicky, Nicky was greasing today and, Pena, kind of complained about like six times, I think you should get between a 50 and a 75% purse reduction.”

“Now that’s the first year because even if you get a 75% purse reduction like, let’s say let’s say Joe Schmo is making $10,000 to fight me. Right. And he’s greased and they catch him greasing and they take away 75% of his purse. And for whatever reason, let’s say Joe Schmo ends up on my back and he’s got Grease all over him.”

“And I have a defensive hand in place and I’m holding on. It’s a grip that usually works, but this grease, the grip doesn’t work. And he takes his grips, his hand out with the grease, and he shoots under my neck and he strangles me. It’s like If that guy makes $10,000 or however much money he makes and he loses 75% of that purse.”

“Let’s say he loses 7500 bucks and he goes on with 2500 bucks.The brand recognition that he’s going to get and the money that he’s going to make from beating me is going to be a million times whatever money he lost because of the fact that he was greased. So you can’t just take money away from the guy because if they use the grease to beat up a high profile name, the purse, the purse doesn’t matter.”

“Like even if the guy’s making $100,000, which nobody is, and he loses 100% of his purse, but he beats me, he’s still going to generate more than $100,000 just because he beat me. Right. So it can’t be just a financial penalty. It has to be a financial penalty where the athlete the other athlete gets part of their purse.”

“Okay. And it has to be a penalty in the match, which will make it harder for the person to win the match, whether it’s overtime and you’re adding, you know, a minute to the ride time or whatever the case is or taking escape time off, whether it’s ADCC points.”

“And you get like, you know, a heavy the like three negatives or something or Who’s number one and you get like three negatives or you know, the judges score very heavily, negatively against the guy who’s greasing.”

“You know, there needs to be a two tiered approach where not only you lose money, but it also makes it harder to lose the match. And long sleeve spats and rash drugs obviously would make a big difference. ”

“And I’ve literally seen Nicky Rod when he was on my team. You know, it’s like those pink bottles of, like, baby Johnson lotion, like an hour and a half before it competes.”

“He just rubs it. All of us, like, have his hair, his face all over his body, and then it dries and then he goes out and it’s impossible to get a hold of. And the problem is, is that he’s got just good enough wrestling with the with the combination of the grease to be hard to take down. So like if you try to hold any grips on him in the standing position or you try to hold on to even a collar tie there is grease all over his body, he’ll just slip off.”

“You can pick up his leg, it just slips out right away because it’s his leg, his calf basically, and it’s behind his knees, short shorts on on your on your forearm. And then the leg just like slips right out. Right. So he’s got good enough defensive stalling, wrestling. Wrestling combined with the grease to be hard to take down and so then you just get into like a pushing match with them because the pulling grips don’t really work right.”

“But the more friction you have, the greater the pull and grips work, the less friction you have, the more pushing grips you have to use. So right away it’s immediately hard to wrestle him. And on top of that, everyone’s like, ‘Oh man, Nicky rather stalling and and fight pass invitational’. I want you to stand up and wrestling wrestle him.”

“Well, because first of all, we are on a smooth canvas like a tarp of the mat. We’re like a like a tarp. They weren’t tatami mats. So they’re smooth mats. The second those mats get slippery or get wet, they get slippery. Now they’re already slippery with sweat. And now you put Nikki Rod’s lotion onto the mats, and now it’s like an ice skating ring.”

“It’s impossible to wrestle on those mats. So when you have grease involved, you’re trying to wrestle, you’re just slipping all over the place and the chance of injury drastically increases. You have no drive thru shots. It’s like impossible to wrestle when you have greasy, slippery, sweaty mats. Then you find yourself playing guard and the top guy doesn’t want to do jujitsu.”

“He just wants to create the illusion of doing jujitsu where he just backs away, backs away, back. So like Pena was in butterfly half guard and like a nice shield, half guard with closed legs that I tried to scoop out of Nicky Rod’s leg. I think you are just circling, circling, circling away. And every time we get to an Underhook Nicky Rod would just limp arm out, slip out, slip out.”

“So it creates the illusion that he’s doing something. And then whenever he sees an opportunity that he goes in, he doesn’t create an opportunity through pressure. He just waits for an opportunity until it’s overextended, because he’s frustrated, because he can’t get a hold of him, because he’s so greased. And then Pena gets overextended. Then Nicky Rod goes in and locks his hands or tries to go for a pass so it’s hard to wrestle in his grease against someone who has, you know, good enough defensive wrestling, at least combined with the grease to not get taken down.”

“Then on the ground, you have a little bit of grease, a little bit of juice and a little bit of stalling. It goes a lot further than you think it should go. Trust me if you don’t believe me, I’m telling you, just grease up with your friends and try to do jiu jitsu, it’s f***ing impossible. And then. So it’s hard to wrestle. It’s hard to do anything from bottom position. ”

“Look at when Pena entered into my legs like I’m I’m highly sophisticated extracting my legs from leg entanglements. And Pena had like relatively sticky grips on me. The second Pena entered into Nicky Rod’s leg is like immediately shot out.”

“Like it was just like no connection whatsoever. You think Pena’s  grips just magically aren’t as good, or that Nicky Rod is so good at extracting his leg from leg entanglements that he just freed his leg twice as good as me? No, because he was f***ing greased.”

“And then you have the whole thing with EBI over time, because now when you have overtime and you’re working with grease, when you’re on defense and you have to control defensive hands, it’s almost impossible to control the defensive hands because the guy’s wrist has grease all over it.”

“So now when you go to control the defensive hands and you’re trying to stop yourself from getting strangled, you want one hand to control the defensive hand and you want to use your other hand maybe to use a hand, assist and pull the legs up and everything. But you can’t do any escapes because you have to have two hands, like a strong two on one on a defensive hand.”

“Otherwise the grease is just going to allow the rest to slip out in the hand, to shoot across your neck. So when you play defense against a guy who’s greased, it allows strangles to slip in easier. And when you play offense in an EBII overtime and you’re trying to trap hands and use a cross wrist system, you’re trying to grab his wrist to control it, to throw a leg over and trap it, and you can’t control the wrist because it’s f***ing greased.”

“And so there’s these ways that the grease complicate things that people would never even think of unless it’s explained to them. And the Internet is just a place where the world’s biggest collection of idiots that usually have no voice can gather around to voice their irrelevant, idiotic opinions. And so that’s where you get the comment sections. But when you actually think about things like this for more than 3 seconds, just like wearing a mask, for example, you’re like, Oh, that makes no f***ing sense.”

“Well, when you’re actually explained how much of a big of a difference Grease makes, you’re like, Oh, that makes a lot of sense. ”

“And Nicky Rod has literally admitted on their YouTube channel, like on multiple occasions that he grases like this isn’t even up for debate and now it’s the best because Pena was like making a parody video of it.”

“And then he’s complaining about it the whole time. It’s like, bro, you don’t get the you know, you don’t get to do both. So yeah, just absolutely incredible. Nicky just once again gets just exposed as a liar and a cheater. I’m actually going to clip the part of the podcast part. I’m going to find that. Give me like 10 minutes where he says that he wasn’t greasing it or doesn’t Grease and or just again will be exposed as a f***ing liar cheater.”

“And the best part about the whole thing is that Craig Jones trained Felipe Pena to beat Nicky Rod, and that is loyalty.”