Gordon Ryan Justifies His Claim As No Gi GOAT

Gordon “King” Ryan is back at his usual social media antics, declaring that he’s found proof of his status as No Gi GOAT. On Tuesday he posted a string of images to Instagram – pictures of notes with an overview of statistics for several elite BJJ competitors: André Galvao, Marcelo Garcia, Felipe Pena and Ryan himself.  They outlined the competitors’ wins, losses and draws, as well as submission rate and titles. Alongside the pictures Ryan added a comment, in which he stated that he believed the statistics supports his claim: that he is the greatest No Gi grappler of all time.

Galvao Strikes Back

The self-proclaimed king has an incredible resumé and in spite of having only competed competed twice at the ADCC, his record already boasts 3 golds. Despite his accomplishments, the claim Gordon Ryan is making to GOAT status, has not gone unchallenged. Critics often highlight that both André Galvao and Marcelo Garcia have won significantly more golds from ADCC, while Felipe Pena has managed to beat Ryan the two times they’ve squared off.
André Galvao also humorously quipped that the only reason the statistics were in Ryan’s favor, is that Galvao also competes in the gi and therefore only does no gi part time. This could be interesting given that ADCC 2021 could see Gordon Ryan take on Andre Galvao for Galvao’s fifth Superfight Championship in a row.

Newer Numbers

The problem with the numbers and statistics that Ryan are citing, is that they’re coming from an incomplete set of records. As Ryan’s wins are newer, they’re significantly better documented, whereas Marcelo’s (as an example) are less so. Essentially the numbers are skewed in favor of Ryan. They compare all of Ryan’s competition records (e.g. matches from EBI, Sapateiro and Quintet) with only Marcelo’s most recent matches from the most prestigious and competitive grappling tournament – ADCC. This also puts the submission rate in a slightly different light, as there’s a bit of a difference in the quality of opponents.

If Gordon Ryan continues his current streak, he is certainly on his way to becoming one of the greatest no-gi grapplers of all time. While there is no denying his potential, it may still be a little premature to make the claim just yet. We’ll just have to wait and see – and it really all depends on Ryan’s confusing retirement/unretirement plans.