Gordon Ryan is confused by Dillon Danis.
The two grapplers have gone in polar opposite directions since competing against each other back in the day. Ryan, arguably the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competitor of all time, just recently picked up another win at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3 this past weekend (Dec. 15, 2022) over Nick ”Nicky Rod” Rodriguez (watch highlights). Meanwhile, Danis is gearing up for his first professional boxing match since seemingly abandoning the mixed martial arts (MMA) and BJJ scenes.
When the two squared off, it was Ryan’s first time competing in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) and Danis’ second. Despite their previously competitive nature, Ryan sees no reason to believe things would look the same in a rematch.
“I actually had a super close match with him in 2017,” Ryan told The MMA Hour. “He played a very tactical, kind of cagey game and he actually took me to a decision and I ended up winning a decision. I’ve been trying to have a rematch with him ever since but he won’t do it, of course.
“He was pretty well respected coming up through brown belt and then what people don’t know about this is everyone thinks he’s like this badass, but now I think they’re kind of starting to realize,” he added. “If you actually look at the statistics and I’ve been dying to actually say this on a big podcast ... Dillon Danis has a record in jiu-jitsu since black belt of 18-16. Like he’s not nearly as good at jiu-jitsu as people think he is. Everyone just references the match with me like, yeah, that was about five years ago, I wasn’t good either. But Dillon since black belt is 18-60 so it’s not a great record.”
Ryan doesn’t foresee any possibility of a rematch with Danis no matter how much talk is done. Whenever he made callouts, Ryan remembers getting ignored, but feels his growing social media presence could end up being key to getting Danis’ attention.
Ultimately, attention has been easy to find for Danis even without having competed since his second career MMA fight in June 2019.
“The thing about Dillon is he’s an absolute master at managing to stay relevant without actually doing anything combat-related,” Ryan said. “I don’t know how he does it, but he does it and, you know, props to him because he doesn’t ... First of all, his family must have money because he doesn’t do anything to actually generate revenue. He doesn’t have sponsors if you look at his Instagram, he doesn’t teach, he doesn’t compete. I don’t know how he’s not homeless, first of all. He must have like an inheritance or something.
“But he manages to stay relevant and he was pretty well respected as a brown belt,” he continued. “He won a lot of things that brown belt and then he was like a big prospect at black belt and then he had a falling out with Marcelo [Garcia] and then once he kind of got in with [Conor] McGregor, that’s when he started to fall apart. His popularity skyrocketed, but his career kind of fell apart from there.”