All eyes are on Gordon Ryan at the 2018 IBJJF World No-Gi Championship this weekend as he enters the ultra-heavyweight division. Here's how to watch him in action.
Gordon has signed up to compete in the +220lb weight class, the heaviest category available. Alongside him is a stacked line-up of World No-Gi, Gi and ADCC champions, ADCC veterans and Trials winners and an Olympic judo champion.
Just take a look at some of the competition he will have to go up against:
- Five-time World No-Gi champion and ADCC absolute champion Roberto Cyborg
- Four-time World No-Gi champion and two-time ADCC champion Yuri Simoes
- 2018 IBJJF World champion Mahamed Aly
- ADCC Trials winner Tex Johnson
- 2008 Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii.
The brackets have put Gordon in the upper left corner. His opening match will be with unheralded Evangelos Moumtzis of Greece, a short and heavy black belt from Gracie Barra with MMA experience.
Waiting for him the second round will likely be Mahamed Aly, the Team Lloyd Irvin representative. They faced off in the absolute division of ADCC 2017 with Ryan winning via heel hook. Of course, no twisting leg locks are permitted in IBJJF competition. Aly last medalled here in 2015, taking silver in the ultra-heavyweight division.
Should he advance past Aly, the quarter final will most likely see Gordon face Yuri Simoes. The Brazilian has twice won double gold at No-Gi Worlds (2014 and 2016), the only double gold champion in World No-Gi history. Ryan and Simoes have competed against each other twice: Ryan beat him via submission in the overtime rounds of EBI in 2016, and then against via rear naked choke in the regulation period of a submission-only superfight on KASAI Pro 1 in December of 2017.
It is less clear who Ryan could face in the final as you've got Tex Johnson and Satoshi Ishii on the other side of the bracket, but the safe money would be on the heavily-credentialed and massively-experienced Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu of Fight Sports. Cyborg won his fifth World No-Gi title here last year, and while he's definitely looking to expand that record you can bet he will have revenge in mind: Cyborg also fell victim to one of Ryan's heel hooks at ADCC 2017.
Here is an approximate guide to Gordon Ryan's matches at No-Gi Worlds:
- First match will be on Mat 2 on Saturday Dec 15 at 1.06pm local time (PST)
- Second match would be on Mat 2 on Saturday Dec 15 at 1.54pm local time (PST)
- Semifinal will be on Mat 9 on Sunday Dec 16 at 11.06am local time (PST)
- The final will be on Mat 4 on Sunday Dec 16 at 2.06pm local time (PST)
IMPORTANT: All start times are subject to change, follow the IBJJF live running order for exact updates.
Full matches will be uploaded to the FloGrappling archives soon after they are completed.