Gordon Ryan talks a lot of smack, and at ADCC last weekend, he proved that he can back it up by winning both the 99kg and absolute division. But even though Ryan is a relentless troll online, he’s not incapable of recognizing the talent and legacy of other top-level grapplers.
One person we did not expect to see Ryan lay the love and respect on, however, was Andre Galvao. In January, Gordon and Galvao engaged in a significant amount of verbal sparring that saw other big names in jiu-jitsu (including Josh Hinger and ADCC head organizer Mo Jassim) adding their own opinions to the mix. It was a lot, and if you’re that bored, you can catch up on all the drama here. Basically, the end result of it all was that most people assumed that Ryan and Galvao would likely never face each other in a match, and they would certainly never get along.
Now, though, the tides may be turning for these two. With Galvao winning his ADCC superfight against Felipe Pena and Ryan winning the absolute division, it’s been announced that the next ADCC superfight will be between Galvao and Ryan. And in a move that is notably different from his social media behavior between him and Galvao, Ryan has shared a post articulating his respect and admiration for Galvao as a competitor:
“Ive been thinking of ways to **** with @galvaobjj after this adcc and trust me i have tons of things in mind 😂. From 5 year old screen shots arguing with @angelicagalvao on Facebook to Andre declining 300k to fight me and now he has to do it for a million times less 😂😂. But truthfully Andre looked amazing in his match. He has stated in multiple interviews that this was his last one. Maybe he stays for another, maybe not. I cant imagine how hard it must be for an athlete to walk away, especially one on the top of the mountain. I also love to see legends leave on their own terms and on a spectacular win rather than a loss. The truth is he has nothing to prove. He is the most successful ADCC competitor of all time and has a highly successful school with highly successful students. He doesnt need money and he doesnt need anything more for his legacy. This year he looked better than ever and in my opinion he should end it on a win as convincing as that one. If you stick around it will be an honor to face you and if this is the last one, congrats on an amazing career. Either way im dojo storming atos one day and training with you 😂. It was a pleasure seeing you and your family this weekend. 📸@mikecalimbas@adcc2019“
With so many of this year’s ADCC competitors engaging in good sportsmanship before, during, and after their matches, it’s refreshing to see one of jiu-jitsu’s most notorious trash-talkers sharing something positive about his 2021 rival.