Maybe to the surprise of some, Gordon Ryan has nothing but good things to say about Roberto Jimenez. Following an injury to his younger brother Nicky Ryan, Gordon will step in on short notice to face Jimenez on February 26 at Who’s Number One. In a recent interview, Ryan praised Jimenez for his fearlessness and aggressive style of grappling.
“I love Roberto. We’ve trained together, we’ve had wars in the gym, it’s an exciting match,” Ryan said.
Jimenez is known for his all-offense, submission-hunting approach. At just 20 years old, he is a grappling prodigy, of sorts. Jimenez was a multiple-time world champion in the colored belts, and has already made a splash on the competition scene as a black belt. He holds notable victories over Keenan Cornelius, Vagner Rocha, the Ruotolo brothers, and Dante Leon.
For his part, Ryan is excited to face such a fearless competitor.
“I know that Roberto is game to fight anyone, so I was like, ‘Well if he wants to have a match then let’s have a match.’ At least it’ll be a match where both guys are trying to finish each other and it’s a good match for the fans to watch,” Ryan said.
At the last Who’s Number One event, Jimenez lost a fun match against Ryan’s teammate, Craig Jones. Even in defeat, Jimenez earned Ryan’s respect.
“There’s nothing better than having two guys that wanna go out and submit each other…. [Jimenez will] be coming forward the whole time, even against dangerous guys like Craig [Jones] you saw him fight, like he goes the whole time…”
This will be Ryan’s first return to competition since an October 2020 submission win over ADCC champion Matheus Diniz.