Gordon Ryan and Roger Gracie are two of the greatest competitors in the history of BJJ and the two men have dominated the sport in different eras, but had never been able to train together until just recently. Ryan has been a dominant force in no gi submission grappling since 2017 and although he’s still in the middle of his prime, he had a career-defining performance at ADCC 2022 when he became the first person to win a weightclass and the superfight championship at the same event.
Before Ryan took to the mats to take home two titles, Roger Gracie was honored when he was inducted as the first member of the ADCC Hall of Fame. Not only is Roger alongside Ryan as one of a handful of men who have won their weightclass, the absolute division, and the superfight at an ADCC event, but he also achieved an extraordinary number of IBJJF world titles as well. Roger Gracie dominated competitive BJJ between 2004 and 2010, winning either the under or over 99kg weightclass every single year and three absolute titles as well.
Roger Gracie has paid close attention to developments in the sport even after his retirement and he has said before that he believes that Gordon Ryan can be the biggest name in grappling history. Ryan had nothing but kind words to say about Roger and he was just as complimentary when he stressed just how incredible he was to train with, even today:
“This was a bucket list item of mine. I’ve been waiting years to share the mats with the GOAT of GOATS. After a few rolls it is VERY clear as to why Roger Gracie was as dominant as he was. I’ve spoken in interviews saying Roger was roughly 20 years ahead of the pack technically from 2004-2010 ish. After rolling with him today I can say with certainty he is still far ahead compared to the guys I compete against on a technical level. It was such an honor to have him on the mats with us this week.”
The news that Gordon Ryan and Roger Gracie had finally met to train together was shared in a post by John Danaher to his official Instagram account: