Nick Rodriguez has been making waves with his impressive skills and fearless attitude. With a wrestling background, Rodriguez has quickly made a name for himself in the BJJ community.
Despite not yet being a black belt, Rodriguez has managed to secure several ADCC medals, showcasing the growing prominence of Nogi BJJ in high-level competitions, drawing similarities to wrestling techniques.
Rodriguez’s victory at the UFC Invitational was just the beginning of his journey. Following his win, he fearlessly called out BJJ legend Gordon Ryan for a match under the EBI ruleset, with a unique twist. Rodriguez challenged Ryan to undergo USADA tests before and after the bout to prove their natural status, as Ryan had previously accused him of using PEDs in the sport.
In his own words, “I’ve never taken gear. I still continue to train and compete as a natural athlete. So upon winning in the finals of UFC 4 Fightpass Invitational, I challenged Gordon Ryan to a ten-minute EBI overtime grappling match with the condition of us both passing a test before and after.”
Despite Rodriguez’s bold challenge and his previous victory over Ryan, the BJJ legend declined the offer.
“Just so I can, I can show just how Natty I am anywhere in the match. Gordon Ryan respectfully declined my match, which I understand. You know, the last time we competed, I was able to break his foot in a toehold. And ultimately this led to his demise. Now you see that he pulled out of his match against Felipe Pena.”
“He’s essentially retired from the sport of jujitsu, all due to me breaking his foot.”
The tension between the two escalated during the UFC’s 3rd edition of their BJJ invitational when Rodriguez stepped in to face Ryan on short notice after Ryan’s original opponent faced weight-cutting issues.
During their intense match, Rodriguez managed to break Ryan’s ankle, leading to accusations of greasing from Ryan. While Ryan eventually secured an overtime victory, the damage was done, and the feud between them intensified.
Despite Ryan’s previous statement about competing against all-natural opponents, it seems he was not willing to face Rodriguez, who has been vocal about proving his natural status. Ryan previously told Bruce Buffer’s podcast:
“If USADA did come in and start testing across the board, I would love to actually compete against all of my opponents natural.”
“Because the only way that they survive for any amount of time is they just juice their way out of things for 10 minutes until they get tired.”
“If they didn’t have the physicality, the match would be twice as easy.”
“The only reason they can survive against me, they’re so physically strong I have to tire them out first and then I can submit them.”