Gordon Ryan recently chimed in on the debate over who would win in a fight between him and lineal boxing heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. Both men are obviously specialists in a specific combat sport and they have both reached the very highest level of their respective rulesets as well. They sit at completely opposite ends of the combat sports spectrum in fact, as Fury is a widely regarded as one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time and Ryan is widely regarded as the best no gi grappler.
Both men have had some exposure to the other areas of combat sports over the years, as Gordon Ryan has done some striking training and Tyson Fury has gotten some grappling training in with Nate Diaz. Regardless, they’ve both stuck firmly to the disciplines that they’ve mastered and neither one of them have ever broadened their horizons competitively in a professional MMA fight. A poll recently went out on Instagram to start the discussion over who would win in a hypothetical fight between the two men and naturally there was a lot of debate on the topic.
Ryan even gave his thoughts on the topic and was clear that he thinks a fight with Fury would be ‘easy’ for him. While every elite competitor needs to have a lot of self-belief, there’s actually some precedent behind Ryan’s opinion as well. Royce Gracie famously used BJJ to dominate UFC 1, a tournament filled with specialists in their respective disciplines. Obviously there’s no comparison between Fury and the journeyman boxer Art Jimmerson that Gracie beat at UFC 1, but the fundamental principle of the battle between the two styles is the same.
Fury isn’t just more technically skilled than Jimmerson though, at 6ft 9 and 280lbs he’s also significantly bigger than him too. Of course, Ryan is also multiple weight classes above where Royce Gracie would have been back then as well and the level of Jiu-Jitsu in general has advanced significantly over the last few decades. Not only are leglocks far more advanced than they were in the 90s, but the level of wrestling in Jiu-Jitsu is also a lot higher as well. When it comes to MMA, wrestling is one of the most important skills to have and the skill gap between Ryan and Fury there would be huge.
Gordon Ryan shared the poll concerning a fight between him and Tyson Fury in a story that he posted to his official Instagram account: