Few have shaken up the grappling community as much as the #DanaherDeathSquad lately. Students of Renzo Gracie’s top professor, Mr. John Danaher. With the help of the respected Tom Deblass, the team has been making headlines in the BJJ world for weeks. Gordon Ryan submitted Keenan Cornelius for the first time since he was a purple belt, and the team challenged the whole top team of Marcelo Garcia in a 3 vs. 1 no-time-limit, submission-only super fight. Combine this with funny posts, memes, and Facebook trolling on another level, and many are starting to take notice of the guys rolling out of the mats in New York and unto the world arena.
The Danaher Death squad’s evil mastermind, Mr. Danaher, has made a great and respected name for himself as one of the most successful coaches in MMA. He has trained superstars like Chris Weidman and GSP before he moved on to the small and simple task of making a revolution in the BJJ scene.
In 2013 and 2014 everybody was talking about Garry Tonon and his showcase of the leg lock system. 2016 may have belonged to Tonon’s first black belt, Gordon Ryan. But looking over their shoulders on almost every training session photo a young kid caught our eyes. Gordon Ryan’s younger brother Nicky is starting to create waves on the submission wrestling ocean, and we wanted to know more about him in this ELITE BJJ exclusive:
What’s up? Tell us what you have been up to lately!
My name is Nicky Ryan, I am 15 years old. I’ve been training about a year and a half. I am known for going into adult divisions and winning by submissions. Lately, I’ve just been training all day, every day, and trying to compete as much as possible. Right now I’m in California because I just competed in Gracie worlds. I had signed up for the brown and black belt division, but Eddie Bravo had me pulled from it because he wanted me to have a super fight against his top teenager. I had a tough match but was able to win by inverted heel hook
Watch Nicky last year at 13 years of age winning the adult absolute black belt division:
Do you remember your first competition?
I had trained for like two months, only two times a week when I was like eight and then I competed for the first time. I had four matches. The first one I had won on points, the second match I had I won by the Americana lock, and the the third one I won on points.
What do you consider your greatest quality in your grappling?
I think that the greatest quality in my grappling is that I am always looking for the finish.
Gi and nogi: what do you consider to be the ups and downs with both?
I prefer nogi over gi because I like to do heel hooks and I feel that it is easier to stall in the gi.
How is your typical training routine during any random week?
Every day my brother Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, and I go up to the city and we train 2-6 times a day.
(In the photo: Gerry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, Nicky Ryan, Oliver Taza and Tom Deblass in front)
Tell us your top five grapplers and why.
My top 5 grapplers are Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, Keenan Cornelius, Marcelo Garcia, and Eddie Cummings. The main reason I like them is because I feel that they all look for submissions during their matches where as other people just look for points.
Do you have a not so known “fun fact” about any famous grappler?
Rank the following competition formats on a scale from 1-10 with 1 being the lowest:
What would be your dream super fight if you could choose any grappler, dead or alive, active or retired?
My dream super fight would be against Marcelo Garcia because he is considered the best.
Anything you want to share with the world, good or bad?
I would just like to give a shout-out to my sponsor, Phalanx.
Well, there you have it guys. His brother Gordon Ryan called out the whole Marcelo Garcia dream team in a 3 vs.1 no-time-limit, back-to-back super fight recently, and his 14-year-old brother dreams of fighting Marcelo himself! What do our readers think? Would he be able to pull it off? We wish young Nicky Ryan all the best and look forward to watching him a lot more in the future!
This article was originally published on Elite BJJ. It was reprinted and edited on this site with permission from the author.