Gordon Ryan’s long-term girlfriend Nathalia “Hey Sonny” Santoro was just promoted to purple belt, courtesy of the team’s head coach, John Danaher. As is customary for Danaher when he promotes one of his students, not only did she receive her belt but she also received a knife, apparently an Anderson Bowie knife. Santoro made the announcement in a post on her official Instagram account, where she thanked both Danaher for the promotion, and Ryan for the hours upon hours of drilling and training that they’ve done together over the years.
Nathalia Santoro has lived with Ryan for quite some time and the pair have already moved down to Puerto Rico ahead of the opening of the John Danaher’s gym. While the gym hasn’t been revealed as it is not yet finished, Danaher has already announced that the name will be “New Wave Jiu Jitsu” and Ryan revealed the rough location not so long ago. Originally, the reigning ADCC double champion announced that he believed they would be ready to open up in March, it now seems like this may be delayed by a little while, although nothing is official just yet.
Santoro is now the recipient of the very first promotion to take place in sunny Puerto Rico, only a matter of weeks after Danaher gave out his final batch of promotions to take place in New York. The most notable among them being Gordon Ryan’s younger brother Nicky and Ethan Crelinsten, who both received their black belts after years of competing at the highest levels of the no gi grappling scene regardless.