It was a terrific run for the 23-year-old, who submitted big names in Keenan Cornelius, Romulo Barral, Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu, Mahamed Aly and Craig Jones. Ryan defeated Dillon Danis and Xande Ribeiro via hard-fought ref's decision, and lost only to Felipe Pena via points (6-0).
Coached by John Danaher throughout the tournament, Ryan showed improved wrestling and intelligent strategy. A self-admitted slow starter, he looked human in his matches with Danis and Ribeiro but technically dismantled each subsequent opponent save for Pena in the absolute final, who scored thanks to the same back-taking brilliance that was the key to victory in their superfight last December.
With 'ADCC champion' now on his resume and a silver medal in the absolute division, Ryan says his next focus will be on competition in the gi. When we asked if the notorious joker was serious, he replied in the affirmative saying that his goals are now complete in no-gi and he will focus on gi competition in 2018 while also preparing for an eventual MMA career.
Gordon Ryan vs Dillon Dannis
Gordon Ryan vs Romulo Barral
Gordon Ryan vs Xande Ribeiro
Gordon Ryan vs Keenan Cornelius
Gordon Ryan vs Roberto Cyborg
Gordon Ryan vs Craig Jones
Gordon Ryan vs Mahamed Aly (video coming soon)
Gordon Ryan vs Felipe Pena
All photos by Hywel Teague / FloGrappling