Gordon Ryan Shows Respect to Rocha: ‘He did what most others won’t, showed up.’

After weeks of trash talk that was uncharacteristically heated for submission grappling, Gordon Ryan is now showing nothing but respect for Vagner Rocha. On Friday, Ryan largely dominated and submitted a game Vagner in the main event of Who’s Number One. Following the match, Ryan took to Instagram to celebrate his and his team’s wins, as well as share some kind words for his opponent.

“He’s done everything and there’s no reason he is still competing other than the pure love of competition,” Ryan wrote about Rocha. “He could just as easily teach at his school and travel to teach seminars. He did what most others won’t, showed up. How can you not respect him? I hope to see him and his family competing for decades to come.”

As Ryan alludes to, he seems to be having difficulty finding high-level opponents at his weight class. Rocha typically competes at 185 lbs., while Ryan is typically around 215 lbs.

Ryan also gives a nod to his teammates Nick Rodriguez and Oliver Taza, both of whom earned decision victories on the night. Check out the full Who’s Number One results here.

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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