It’s no secret that Gordon Ryan has taken an extended leave of absence from professional Jiu-Jitsu competition that started in 2021, and obviously the sport’s biggest star will have lost some earnings as a result. Not many people would have predicted just how much money Ryan will have lost by not competing as much as he has in other years though, and he recently shared the information. As he explains in a post to his official Instagram account‘s story, some people have either hinted at or outright accused him of over-exaggerating his stomach condition and logically, he would not have chosen to forego such a huge payout for no reason:
“For everyone who thinks I’m just faking my stomach. I was just doing some calculations for my taxes and… If I was healthy enough to compete all year, I was set to make another 180k just with competitions, win or lose, 180k.
I left it on the table because it’s unprofessional for me to compete in the physical state I’m in right now. Let’s hope this year is better.”
Gordon Ryan has previously mentioned that 2021 would’ve been the year that he would’ve made the most money of his career so far, so this figure would be a fair bit higher than his average so far of course. In the end, he only competed three times professionally last year and towards the end of the year he made something close to a comeback by taking on an exhibition match against UFC welterweight Phillip Rowe. He also claims that he’s sharing this information not from a selfish perspective but also to highlight how little professional Jiu-Jitsu athletes actually get paid:
“Also, let’s talk about how embarrassing it is that an athlete in our sport, sitting where I am, can’t even make a quarter million [dollars] a year competing 6 times. We need to do better, we need to be more exciting, we need more eyes on the sport, and I can’t do it alone, especially not unhealthy. Let’s make this ADCC the turning point in our sport. From amateur… To professional.”
What Ryan is alluding to here is the 2022 ADCC World Championships, the first professional Jiu-Jitsu competition that he is scheduled to compete in for a little over a year. There he will not only be attempting to dethrone the reigning superfight champion Andre Galvao, but he’ll also be moving up to the over 99kg division in the hopes of becoming the first competitor to win gold medals in three different weightclasses of the ADCC world championships.