John Danaher gives an update on Gordon Ryan, claims retaining ADCC title harder then getting it

As the 2023 ADCC World Championships approach, all eyes are on Gordon Ryan, the reigning absolute and superfight champion looking to defend his titles. In a recent interview, Ryan’s coach John Danaher provided insights into what makes the grappling phenom so special and how he’s preparing for this year’s event.

When asked what sets Ryan apart, Danaher pointed to his unparalleled dedication. “Gordon just dedicated his entire life to this craft,” Danaher said. “Whereas most people see this as an activity or something fun to do, Gordon had a very immersive approach where he said ‘I want to be the best of all time.'”

Danaher noted two key attributes that give Ryan an edge – his outstanding memory that allows him to retain techniques at a high level, and his ability to perform at the same high level in competition as he does in the gym without becoming risk-averse on stage.

However, Danaher acknowledged that defending a world title is exponentially more difficult than winning it in the first place. “The minute you win, you become one of the most studied people in the world. Everyone knows everything you do, you become the objective of study,” he explained.

As a result, Ryan cannot simply rely on the same game plan that brought him success before. “He’s got to move from where he was to project a vision for himself in the future, which people are less familiar with and come out with something unknown, something which surprises people,” Danaher told ADCC’s official channel.

Danaher hasn’t weighed in on Gordon Ryan’s health which saw his physique undergo a tremendous transformation in the recent days.


Ryan is innovating and evolving his game, being careful not to change too much but integrating new aspects to stay one step ahead of the competition studying his every move. If he can successfully unveil an updated style, Ryan will be primed to retain his ADCC titles and further cement his legacy.