Gordon Ryan Breaks Down 2017 Win Over Cyborg Abreu

Gordon Ryan is not shy about his accomplishments. He’s also not one to keep his jiu-jitsu techniques and strategies a secret, often giving detailed explanations of exactly how he won many of his biggest matches. In a recent Instagram post, Ryan broke down how he was able to secure a heel hook on Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu in their 2017 ADCC match-up.

The key to setting up his favorite inside sankaku position, says Ryan, was some simple trickery and misdirection. By pushing Cyborg’s leg one way, he induced Cyborg to respond in the opposite direction, essentially putting himself in the dangerous leg lock position. Once Ryan is in control of both of Cyborg’s legs, he has trapped his opponent and the inside heel hook finish came moments later.

In typical Ryan fashion, he can’t help but throw a little verbal jab at his rival Cyborg.

“A very primitive cross ashi finish which wouldn’t really be working on today’s athletes, as the leg lock game (thankfully) has evolved,” he wrote.

It’s hard to ignore the timing of Ryan’s post recapping a match that is nearly four years old. Last week, Cyborg defeated Tim Spriggs in the main event of Fight to Win 161, capturing a title belt. Understandably, Cyborg hasn’t shied away from celebrating this accomplishment on social media. In response, Ryan’s post feels like a more-than-subtle reminder of the pair’s competitive history.

After their 2017 match at the ADCC championships, Ryan and Cyborg would meet once more at the 2018 IBJJF no-gi Worlds. That match ended in (somewhat) controversial fashion, as Ryan won by disqualification after Cyborg slapped Ryan numerous times.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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