Who has beaten more ADCC medalists, Gordon Ryan or Andre Galvao?

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 (*).

Gordon Ryan:

Alexandre RibeiroWReferee DecisionADCC88KGSF20171
Craig JonesWKatagatameADCCABS4F20171
Gabriel GonzagaWOutside heel hookSUG 10ABSSPF20191
Jackson SousaWRNCNoGi WorldsABSSF20181
Joao RochaWPts: 1×0Kasai Dallas120KGSPF20191
Kaynan DuarteWRNCNo Gi Pan Am.ABSF20181
Keenan CorneliusWInside heel hookGrappling Ind.ABSSPF20161
Lachlan GilesWRNCADCCABSSF20191
Lucas BarbosaWReferee DecisionF2W 3092KGSPF20171
Mahamed Aly*WHeel hookADCCABSSF20171
Marcus AlmeidaWPts: 0x0, PenADCCABSF20191
Matheus DinizWInside heel hookWNO 4ABSSPF20201
Roberto AbreuWInside heel hookADCCABSE120171
Romulo BarralWRNCADCC88KG4F20171
Rousimar PalharesWReferee DecisionWorld FestivalABSSPF20191
Rustam Chsiev*WEBI/OTEBI 6ABSF20161
Vagner RochaWRNCEBI 1177KGF20171
Vinicius TratorWChokeADCC99KGF20191
Vitor ShaolinWArmbarQuintet 3ABSF20181
Yuri SimoesWEBI/OTEBI 6ABSSF20161
Athletes that finished 4th or better:20
Medalists:18

Andre Galvao:

A. CacarecoWPointsADCCABS3PLC20071
Alexandre RibeiroWPts: 2×0World Pro.ABSSF20121
Baret YoshidaWPointsADCCABSR120071
Braulio EstimaWChoke from backWorld Champ.88KGF20081
Claudio CalasansWAdvSan Diego Trials82KGF20111
Davi RamosWPts: 0x0, AdvWorld ProABSR220161
David AvellanWPts: 2×0ADCC88KGSF20091
Fabricio WerdumWReferee DecisionADCCABS4F20071
Felipe PenaWPts: 4×2Pan AmericanABSSF20141
Jackson SousaWWristlockWorld Pro94KG4F20161
Keenan CorneliusWReferee DecisionWorld Pro.ABS3PLC20141
Leo NogueiraWPts: 4×0Pan AmericanABS4F20161
Marcio CruzWAdvTeam NationalsO88KGF20061
Marcus AlmeidaWPts: 7×0San Diego TrialsABSSF20111
Mike Fowler*WMounted X chokePan American82KGF20061
Murilo Santana*WPts: 6×0World Cup82KG4F20051
Nino SchembriWClock chokeWorld Champ.82KGSF20061
Orlando SanchezWReferee DecisionPan AmericanABS4F20131
Otavio SousaWPts: 2×0World Pro.ABS4F20141
Pablo PopovitchWPts: 2×0ADCC88KGSF20111
Rafael LovatoWChoke from backWorld Champ.ABS4F20081
Roberto AbreuWPointsWorld Champ.ABSR220081
Rodolfo V.WPts: 3×0ADCC Trials88KGF20091
Romulo BarralWPts: 2×0World Pro.88KGF20141
Rousimar PalharesWPts: 9×4ADCC88KGF20111
Rust. Chsiev*WReferee DecisionUltimate Abs.ABSF20111
Tarsis HumphreysWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.ABSR120071
Vinny MagalhaesWPts: 4×0Ultimate Abs.ABSSF20111
Athletes that finished 4th or better:28
Medalists:25

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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