Gordon Ryan is regarded as the greatest no gi grappler on the planet and his absence from competition throughout 2023 has been felt by fans of the sport everywhere. He’s such a popular personality off the mats and dominant competitor on the mats that there’s a clear hole in the landscape of professional Jiu-Jitsu when he hasn’t got any matches lined up. The last time he actually faced an opponent in competition was when he defeated Nicky Rodriguez in EBI overtime at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3 on December 15th, 2022. It’s been over 6 months since that match and there’s still no news on when he’ll be competing next.
He started out the year by announcing the biggest contract in the history of the sport, a seven-figure multi-fight deal with FloSports. It was a huge moment that could have signalled not only a huge improvement on the way competitors are compensated in general, but also that he had some pretty big matches on the horizon. The first match of the new contract Gordon Ryan signed was scheduled for February 25th, 2023 where he was set to meet Felipe Pena for the fourth time. Unfortunately for fans though, the match fell through at the very last minute when Ryan came down with an illness that forced him out of training and he was replaced by Nicky Rodriguez instead.
Ryan left for Abu Dhabi shortly after the event but there’s been no news on any upcoming matches since then. Now he’s opened up about the reasons why fans haven’t seem him on the mats, and has gone into detail about a case of strep throat that has put him out of action for quite some time. This has also brought back the stomach condition that kept him out of competition for quite some time in the past too. He’s getting a tonsillectomy along with surgery to fix a deviated septum now, and apparently plans to book his next match at some point in the next few months.
Gordon Ryan explained why he hasn’t been competing in the first half of 2023 in a recent post to his official Instagram account: