Top no-gi grappler Gordon Ryan has spent much of 2021 on the sidelines. Citing ongoing stomach issues, Ryan appeared just three times last year, and one of those times was deemed an exhibition match.
On Monday, Ryan posted to social media that he expected to make at least $180,000 from competition in 2021, had he not been forced to sit out.
A black belt under and long-time student of John Danaher, Ryan started 2021 with back-to-back submission wins over Roberto Jimenez and Vagner Rocha, both at Who’s Number One. He then announced an indefinite leave of absence from competition due to stomach issues.
In October, Ryan returned to competition when he took on current UFC welterweight Philip Rowe in a special exhibition match under which any submission would simply result in a restart on the feet. Ryan submitted Rowe, a brown belt with no high-level grappling victories of note, multiple times over the course of the 15-minute affair.
Under a full competition schedule, Ryan may have competed five or six more times.
A 2019 ADCC double gold medalist, Ryan is expected to face longtime rival Andre Galvao at the 2022 ADCC championships. That is, of course, if Ryan is able to get his frequent health issues under control.