Gordon Ryan recently dropped a bombshell that sent ripples through the MMA world. He revealed that he had been offered a seven-figure sum to step into the MMA cage.
While the prospect of seeing Ryan transition to MMA was tantalizing for fans, it wasn’t meant to be. His decision to stay in the world of submission grappling was not a spontaneous one but a result of careful consideration and sage advice from his coach, John Danaher.
Gordon Ryan’s grappling prowess is undeniable, with a remarkable record of 153 wins, 9 losses, and 3 draws. However, his career hasn’t been without controversy, as he openly admitted to using PEDs. Despite this, he maintained a win streak, showcasing his dominance in the grappling world.
Given the history of grappling and wrestling stars finding success in MMA, fans naturally wondered when Gordon Ryan would make his MMA debut. With his formidable grappling skills, it seemed like a logical transition. However, the grappler had other plans.
In a recent interview with Combate, Ryan disclosed that his decision to remain focused on submission grappling was guided by the wisdom of his coach, John Danaher. Danaher emphasized that Ryan had already achieved the status of the best no-gi competitor in history and was earning a substantial income from his grappling career. According to Danaher, there was little to gain in the world of MMA compared to the heights Ryan could reach in submission grappling.
Ryan shared Danaher’s perspective: “John is never wrong about anything, and he told me, ‘You’re already the best no-gi competitor of all time, you make a lot of money, there’s no reason for you to fight MMA. You already make more than most fighters in the UFC, have an established legacy in this sport and are not even close to its peak yet. You should keep doing this and be the absolute best of all time indisputably, to the point that even when you’ve been dead for 50 years, no one has a close record.'”
While Gordon Ryan admitted that he had genuine interest in transitioning to MMA and had received seven-figure offers to do so, he ultimately chose to prioritize his commitment to submission grappling. He believed that the world of jiu-jitsu was on the brink of becoming a mainstream sport, with the potential for athletes to receive greater recognition and financial rewards in the near future.
He explained, “And I feel that if I leave the no-gi to go to MMA, it will degenerate back to what it was unless a giant star emerges who kills everyone. But I feel like I’m taking this sport to the next level of professionalism now. I love jiu-jitsu so much, and I want to see the next generation of athletes succeed financially.”