Gordon Ryan On Rolling With Tom DeBlass As A Teenager

Gordon Ryan managed to get some time with Tom DeBlass on the latest episode of his podcast, The King Ryan Show, and some of the stories that the pair shared were fantastic. In the first episode of the podcast Ryan sat down for a few hours with one of the greatest UFC fighters in history, Georges St. Pierre to discuss a wide range of topics, including his fight philosophy. This isn’t the first time that Gordon Ryan has given us an insight into some of the training stories from his past with all of the legendary grapplers around New York and New Jersey though, last time he opened up about what it was like to roll with his longtime coach and mentor, John Danaher.


Gordon Ryan shared the story above from back when he was a seventeen year old and Tom DeBlass decided to tell Garry Tonon that if Ryan managed to tap him, he should be given a purple belt with two stripes immediately. Ryan then explains that the pair had the entire class sitting around watching them roll for around half an hour until Ryan sees an opportunity to go for an inverted heel hook and ends up getting countered. DeBlass catches an Achilles Lock, bridges into it as hard as he can and despite Ryan trying to handfight and escape, he ends up having to tap and DeBlass says “no purple belt for you today“.

Tom DeBlass is well known for his public persona of attempting to inspire and motivate BJJ competitors via his Instagram account, but he also regularly praises the difficult side of Jiu-Jitsu and the good that overcoming adversity can do for you. Because of this, it makes sense to imagine DeBlass trying to motivate a young up-and-coming grappler by offering him a reward in exchange for beating him when he’s going at 100%.

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Alex Lindsey

Alex Lindsey is the managing editor here at Grappling Insider. Originally starting training in MMA in 2008, injuries and university slowed progress until he decided to put on a gi for the first time back in 2015.

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