Kasai Super Series went down in Dallas, Texas last night and had some pretty exciting matches.
Renato Canuto and Dante Leon got impressive finishes, but the real talking point of the night was the main event between Gordon Ryan and Joao Gabriel Rocha.
Ryan and Rocha put on a highly-technical display with both athletes securing sweeps and solid passing attempts. Ryan came closest to a submission with a heelhook attempt that earned him the point that would ultimately lead him to victory.
The real story of the night is Ryan’s knee injury, which occurred during a sweep attempt. According to John Danaher, Ryan “badly tore his LCL”, an injury of this magnitude could be devastating for Ryan, who will be looking to start his preparations for ADCC in the next few months.
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Hard fought victory in Dallas, Texas! Gordon fought off injury and a very tough rival to take a closely contested victory here in Dallas tonight. João Gabriel Rocha is one of the toughest athletes in Jiu Jitsu today with wins over Felipe Pena, Rudolfo Viera and Erbeth Santos among many others. He has won two ADCC silver medals and had a nearly forty pound weight advantage – this was always going to be a tough match. In the first ten minute period, Mr Rocha performed a well executed uchi mata throw that took both athletes completely off the stage. Then Gordon Ryan came back with two beautiful guard seeps to take top position. Unfortunately he then badly tore his LCL in his knee. It was immediately apparent his movement had become compromised. When he came back to the corner to begin the second time period featuring points we noted that it would be prudent to go to bottom position and attack the legs. Mr Ryan did exactly that – scoring the best submission attempt of the fight with a fine outside heel hook that forced a strong defensive reaction from and Rocha and secured points. Now it was question of whether he would be able to hold on to the lead with an injured leg in the two minutes remaining. Mr Rocha did a great job of pressure passing as the seconds passed and tested Mr Ryan’s Guard retention to the limits. Time ended with Mr Ryan still ahead and another tough win in the books! We will have to see the extent of the injury now. Here we back stage with proud Dad, Gordon Ryan Sr and Rich Byrne, the CEO of @kasaigrappling who, along with Rolles Gracie, is doing such an amazing job of promoting grappling nationwide through their organization. Hope you all enjoyed the show!! I am sure these two great athletes will meet again with both looking for a decisive finish to resolve the tightness of this great match tonight
Depending on the severity of the tear, Ryan could be out for a few months. It will be interesting to see if he pulls out of the upcoming Combat Jiu Jitsu Fight Night where he is scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum.