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Gordon Ryan retires due to health problems: ‘I’m essentially useless’

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Grappling superstar Gordon Ryan, 25, announces his retirement from competition due to ongoing health issues.

ONE Championship fighter Gordon Ryan at QUINTET Ultra Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Gordon Ryan is hanging it up for the foreseeable future ... and possibly forever.

Ryan, a three-time ADCC world champion, announced his retirement from professional competition via social media last week. The grappling ace was scheduled to face veteran Shinya Aoki in a special Openweight grappling match for ONE Championship on Aug. 27, 2021.

“It saddens me to make this post. My stomach isn’t cooperating with me anymore,” Ryan began. “Most of you by now know it’s been an uphill battle for 3 years ever since the staph antibiotics messed up my stomach. Effective immediately, I will be taking a leave of absence from competition. My stomach is at a point now where I can’t train properly. It was always an issue, but it’s been progressively getting worse as time goes on.

“In training, I’m essentially useless because I’m always so nauseous,” he continued. “While I have been showing up on competition day, I don’t believe it’s professional for me to have camps like I have been and showing up to compete,” he continued. “The future for myself as an athlete is uncertain, but the future as a coach is definite. I was supposed to compete once a month until October, I’ve pulled out of all of them and don’t plan on making a return until my stomach is 100% better, if it ever is.”

Ryan, 25, had been flirting with the idea of transitioning to mixed martial arts (MMA) for years. In fact, ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong confirmed that Ryan’s contract with the promotion allowed for MMA bouts.

Ryan retires from submission grappling with a professional record of 144–9–3 with wins over Vagner Rocha, Gabriel Gonzaga, Josh Barnett, Bo Nickal, Rousimar Palhares, Marcus Almeida, Garry Tonon, Craig Jones and Keenan Cornelius, among many others.