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In a post-fight press conference after his KO victory over Tyron Woodley, UFC welterweight stand out Colby Covington said his jiu-jitsu coach could beat anybody in the world.
Covington praised his team for their work leading up to UFC Fight Night: Covington vs Woodley, and drew particular attention to his grappling coach, Daniel Valverde. He added that he would put his money behind Valverde in a grappling match against anyone.
“That guy is the best judo and jiu-jitsu player in the world,” Covington said. “I’ll put him up against anybody in the world in jiu-jitsu. I’ll put $100,000 on it. He’ll go against any jiu-jitsu guy and I guarantee he smokes him.”
It didn’t take long for Gordon Ryan to get in on the action.
Ryan shared Covington's statement in an Instagram post, and accepted the challenge, upping the ante.
@colbycovmma i like you, but free money is free money 🤣. Ill put 200 against your hundred in a no gi, no time limit match🤷♂️. I have it ready to transfer to a 3rd party account today. congrats on the win btw, looked great. Let me know 😉
ADCC showrunner Mo Jassim may also want to get involved. A subsequent Instagram post on Ryan’s page shows a message from Jassim putting $250,000 up against $100,000.
In a comment on Ryan’s post, Tom DeBlass said he would throw $100,000 into the pot.
Ryan has a habit of putting big money on the line against fellow grapplers, most recently, challenging Andre Galvao, putting $1 million up against Andre Galvao’s $500,000. That match is unlikely to take place. Despite several attempts, Ryan has not successfully goaded an opponent into a high stakes match. However, he's a perennial main event participant, and will headline the upcoming Who's Number One: Ryan vs Diniz.
Valverde was an IBJJF No-Gi Masters World Champ in 2007, and was an accomplished judoka in the '90s.