Gordon Ryan returns to the mats at WNO 20 later this evening (Sun., Oct. 1, 2023), defending his men’s Heavyweight title against Patrick Gaudio in a 30-minute no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu match.
Tonight’s bout is a rematch of a hotly contested battle between the two jiu-jitsu aces from five years ago, which saw Ryan edge Gaudio and win via advantage with seconds left on the clock.
Now, Ryan is hoping to win more definitively (watch highlights) ... and upset a few people afterward, too.
“Patrick is the last guy to almost beat me, that was 2018 at the NoGi Worlds,” Ryan said at WNO’s pre-event press conference. “Going into this match, he could easily make an argument that if he’d done a few things differently he could have beat me. And, of course, I just want to go back and submit the guys that I either haven’t either competed against or haven’t submitted yet.
“We had a razor close match,” Ryan contined. “He was 30 seconds away from beating me and spoiling my double gold run. I think at five years in the making it’ll be a good test to see where my progression is at over time versus his progression over time.”
This is Ryan’s first match since a UFC Fight Pass Invitational bout in Dec. 2023 because of continued issues with Gastroparesis.
“I’m just happy to be healthy enough to compete, first of all,” he said. “I was supposed to compete in February but it’s been since December, so I’m just happy to get back on the mats ... To be honest I’m just happy to be healthy and happy to be back here.”
In the past, “The King” has pulled some theatrical stunts, like predicting what submission he’d use to win before a match, writing it in an envelope, and giving the envelope to commentators. This time, Gordon is showing up to Houston, Texas, with a mysterious box in tow.
Who knows what’s inside it, but Ryan said it would ruffle some feathers.
“It’s the month of October so I’ll have a little Halloween-esque kind of plan in store for this one,” he said. “It’s better than an envelope and will be something to upset people after this match, for sure.”
As for what to expect from Ryan in the match?
“This is more than just entertainment value for spectators,” he declared. “This is going to be an educational masterclass where you can see that what I teach in instructionals is actually what I use against the best guys in the world.”
The entire WNO 20 event headlined by Gordon Ryan vs. Patrick Gaudio can be watched live on FloGrappling starting tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
For the latest and greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu news and notes click here.
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