Gordon Ryan often makes the claim that he has beaten more ADCC medalists than any other grappler in history. The reigning ADCC absolute champion is just 26-years old but has already put together one of the most impressive resumes the sport has ever seen, prompting many to name him the greatest no-gi grappler of all-time.
As difficult as it is to quantify “greatness,” number of wins is very much something measurable. In advance of Ryan’s much-anticipated ADCC superfight against Andre Galvao later this year, we decided to crunch the numbers. How many ADCC medalists has Ryan beaten in his career? Has he beaten more than Galvao?
What we looked at:
In order to compare Ryan’s record versus Galvao’s, we went to most reliable and complete source for grappling records, BJJHeroes.com. After pulling both Ryan’s and Galvao’s records, we simply counted the number of ADCC medalists each competitor has beaten. For this, we didn’t consider number of wins over an ADCC medalist, but rather the number of ADCC medalists either man has beaten. In other words, multiple wins over a single ADCC medalist only counts for one.
Initially, we counted any competitor that placed fourth or higher at the ADCC World Championships. But while a fourth-place finish may secure an athlete an invite to the next ADCC World Championships, that athlete is not a medalist in the strict sense. We counted both.
Here’s what we found: Andre Galvao has beaten 25 ADCC medalists, and 28 ADCC competitors that placed fourth or higher.
Gordon Ryan has beaten 18 ADCC medalists, and 20 ADCC competitors that placed fourth or higher.
In short, Andre Galvao has beaten more ADCC medalists than Gordon Ryan. According to the available numbers, Ryan’s claim is false.
An important caveat: this count did not differentiate between wins in the gi versus no-gi. A large number of Galvao’s wins over ADCC medalists came in gi competition, making an apples-to-apples comparison difficult.
Given the length of Galvao’s legendary career, it’s not surprising that he beats Ryan in this category. Galvao’s BJJ Heroes record includes over 180 matches over the course of his 17-year career. Ryan, on the other hand, has fewer than 100 recorded matches. The fact that Ryan comes close to Galvao in this comparison is only a testament to how dominant and successful he has been thus far in his career.
Below is our data. For simplicity, we have eliminated opponents that are not ADCC medalists. Athletes that placed fourth are noted with an asterisk (*).
|Alexandre Ribeiro||W||Referee Decision||ADCC||88KG||SF||2017||1|
|Gabriel Gonzaga||W||Outside heel hook||SUG 10||ABS||SPF||2019||1|
|Jackson Sousa||W||RNC||NoGi Worlds||ABS||SF||2018||1|
|Joao Rocha||W||Pts: 1×0||Kasai Dallas||120KG||SPF||2019||1|
|Kaynan Duarte||W||RNC||No Gi Pan Am.||ABS||F||2018||1|
|Keenan Cornelius||W||Inside heel hook||Grappling Ind.||ABS||SPF||2016||1|
|Lucas Barbosa||W||Referee Decision||F2W 30||92KG||SPF||2017||1|
|Mahamed Aly*||W||Heel hook||ADCC||ABS||SF||2017||1|
|Marcus Almeida||W||Pts: 0x0, Pen||ADCC||ABS||F||2019||1|
|Matheus Diniz||W||Inside heel hook||WNO 4||ABS||SPF||2020||1|
|Roberto Abreu||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC||ABS||E1||2017||1|
|Rousimar Palhares||W||Referee Decision||World Festival||ABS||SPF||2019||1|
|Rustam Chsiev*||W||EBI/OT||EBI 6||ABS||F||2016||1|
|Vagner Rocha||W||RNC||EBI 11||77KG||F||2017||1|
|Vitor Shaolin||W||Armbar||Quintet 3||ABS||F||2018||1|
|Yuri Simoes||W||EBI/OT||EBI 6||ABS||SF||2016||1|
|Athletes that finished 4th or better:||20|
|Alexandre Ribeiro||W||Pts: 2×0||World Pro.||ABS||SF||2012||1|
|Braulio Estima||W||Choke from back||World Champ.||88KG||F||2008||1|
|Claudio Calasans||W||Adv||San Diego Trials||82KG||F||2011||1|
|Davi Ramos||W||Pts: 0x0, Adv||World Pro||ABS||R2||2016||1|
|David Avellan||W||Pts: 2×0||ADCC||88KG||SF||2009||1|
|Fabricio Werdum||W||Referee Decision||ADCC||ABS||4F||2007||1|
|Felipe Pena||W||Pts: 4×2||Pan American||ABS||SF||2014||1|
|Jackson Sousa||W||Wristlock||World Pro||94KG||4F||2016||1|
|Keenan Cornelius||W||Referee Decision||World Pro.||ABS||3PLC||2014||1|
|Leo Nogueira||W||Pts: 4×0||Pan American||ABS||4F||2016||1|
|Marcio Cruz||W||Adv||Team Nationals||O88KG||F||2006||1|
|Marcus Almeida||W||Pts: 7×0||San Diego Trials||ABS||SF||2011||1|
|Mike Fowler*||W||Mounted X choke||Pan American||82KG||F||2006||1|
|Murilo Santana*||W||Pts: 6×0||World Cup||82KG||4F||2005||1|
|Nino Schembri||W||Clock choke||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2006||1|
|Orlando Sanchez||W||Referee Decision||Pan American||ABS||4F||2013||1|
|Otavio Sousa||W||Pts: 2×0||World Pro.||ABS||4F||2014||1|
|Pablo Popovitch||W||Pts: 2×0||ADCC||88KG||SF||2011||1|
|Rafael Lovato||W||Choke from back||World Champ.||ABS||4F||2008||1|
|Roberto Abreu||W||Points||World Champ.||ABS||R2||2008||1|
|Rodolfo V.||W||Pts: 3×0||ADCC Trials||88KG||F||2009||1|
|Romulo Barral||W||Pts: 2×0||World Pro.||88KG||F||2014||1|
|Rousimar Palhares||W||Pts: 9×4||ADCC||88KG||F||2011||1|
|Rust. Chsiev*||W||Referee Decision||Ultimate Abs.||ABS||F||2011||1|
|Tarsis Humphreys||W||Referee Decision||World Champ.||ABS||R1||2007||1|
|Vinny Magalhaes||W||Pts: 4×0||Ultimate Abs.||ABS||SF||2011||1|
|Athletes that finished 4th or better:||28|