Newly-crowned Who’s Number One (WNO) heavyweight champion Tim Spriggs isn’t mincing his words in regards to Gordon Ryan.
At the WNO Championships, Spriggs surprised many in the jiu-jitsu community when he defeated Haisam Rida, Tex Johnson, and Kaynan Duarte to capture the inaugural WNO heavyweight championship. In the audience for Spriggs’ title-winning performance was Gordon Ryan, a man that many consider to be the top no-gi grappler in the world and an obvious next opponent for Spriggs.
However, Ryan has been on an indefinite leave of absence from competition since May, citing health problems. Although Ryan maintains that those health concerns are not yet completely under control and he is still unable to eat properly, he is nonetheless scheduled to return to action on October 20 at WNO event, where he will face UFC welterweight fighter Philip Rowe in an “exhibition match.” Rowe is 0-2 in notable grappling competition, losing to Gabriel Checco in Submission Underground, and Kody Steele on the undercard of a WNO event.
With Ryan stating that he is unavailable for elite competition — yet simultaneously saying that Spriggs is merely a “hobbyist” — Spriggs is frustrated, and itching for the match against Ryan. On a recent episode of the Grappling Hour, Spriggs spoke at length about Ryan, calling him out directly and calling into question his claimed health concerns.
“He saw what I was able to do as a hobbyist against a guy that he didn’t want to have a match-up with (Duarte). And I love Flograppling but let’s be real here. It was set up for Kaynan versus Gordon. I played the spoiler. I got the job done in a spectacular fashion.
“And I let it be known that Gordon, whenever your tummy ache is over. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be waiting for you.
“And another thing too. I think its crazy how, if your’e a champion, right? Before the tournament he says it’s an interim title. It’s an interim title, right? You never had the title buddy. You never had the title. If you are the real champion, and I won the interim title, wouldn’t it behoove you to go and get your title? I literally pointed to the center of the mat, picked up the proverbial crown and placed it on my head with him in the audience. And he’s just gonna sit on the sideline and still claim to be the best? Check the rankings, I’m ranked higher than him anyway…
“He’s full of contradictions. I still want the match. I believe it’s gonna happen. Because how long is he gonna be able to lie to the public? How long is he gonna be able to hide behind the fact that he has a made-up injury? I’ve had serious injuries. I’ve had serious intestinal damage where I almost died. Within a year I won the world title. Within six weeks I was back training. But it is what it is…
“I would just love to have the match. I think it’s the match-up that everybody wants to see. I know for sure it’s the match everyone wants to see. And I’m all about giving the people what they want.”