Gordon Ryan has been sidelined for quite some time now, but he’s just revealed that he’s started planning his return to competition in 2023 and beyond. He sat down for an interview with UFC announcer Bruce Buffer to discuss several different aspects of his career, and the conversation immediately turned to what has been keeping him off the mats lately. He has spoken publicly in the past about the series of health issues that have prevented him from competing as much as he normally would, and he has yet to be able to compete at all in 2023. He has only had one match booked at the beginning of the year, although that match against Felipe Pena was scrapped at the last minute when he first fell ill.
That match would have been the first match of the competitive Jiu-Jitsu world’s biggest ever contract, as he signed a seven-figure five-match deal with FloSports at the beginning of the year. Gordon Ryan went into detail about how that contract works, and what it means for his competition plans in 2023:
“They were all ‘to be determined’ dates so it was just one master contract, and then we have like… individual amendments for when the dates are gonna be signed. Because all the athletes have already agreed, it’s just determining dates. They were supposed to happen in 2023. I was gonna try to do like a really heavy 2023 and then rest like the first half of 2024, and then do like a few warmup matches before ADCC. But then I’ve been sick for the last four months, so I kinda got sidelined. So now those matches, the ones that I haven’t done, I’m hoping to do one of them. One of them was supposed to be Felipe (Pena), so I’m hoping to do one of them in October and then do probably hopefully 4 of them next year at some point.”
While the health issues took him off the mats and the recent surgery recovery has extended his time away from competition, it appears as though Gordon Ryan is still aiming to finish out 2023 strongly. There’s no news yet on who he might be competing against at the Who’s Number One card in October that he’s referring to, as the promotion is still busy planning an event before that. But his old rival Felipe Pena is still eager to have their long-awaited fourth match so that seems like the most logical match to make.
Gordon Ryan announced that he’s got more planned for 2023 other than taking on the toughest competition Who’s Number One can offer, as he also wants to compete alongside the return of a particular combat sports legend:
“I’m hoping I’m gonna hop back into a routine, get back into training. I just have to, i’m filming some instructionals right now, but once I finish that then we’ll be back into a routine. Then I’m hoping to come back to do an October card, and then I’m hoping to headline that (UFC) Fight Pass Invitational in December with Georges (St-Pierre) and do co-main and main event.”
The interview that Bruce Buffer did with Gordon Ryan where he explained his plans for competition in 2023 and beyond was uploaded to his official YouTube channel: