Nicky Rodriguez has finally started to speak about the potential matchup that he’ll have against Gordon Ryan at the upcoming 2022 ADCC World Championships at the press conference for the latest WNO event, that was uploaded to the official Youtube channel of FloGrappling. In the past, the pair have been teammates and have entered different divisions at ADCC, but since the Danaher Death Squad broke up they have no such reason to do so any more. The exact reason for the breakup of the team has never really been stated it was notable that the majority of the competitive team actually stayed together, separate from Gordon Ryan and John Danaher himself.
When Nicky Rodriguez first spoke about the team splitting up, he went to great lengths not to name Gordon Ryan or anyone else specifically but it was pretty clear who he attributed the team’s divide to. As a medalist from 2019, Rodriguez will definitely be returning to compete in the over 99kg division and now that they aren’t teammates, Ryan has requested that he be moved up to the same division in 2022. If things go according to plan for both athletes, there will be a match between them at some point or another at the event.
“An ADCC match-up with Gordon is very likely. I’m enjoying the anticipation of this match. I believe everything I have to offer is up to par with the best in the world. A guy like Gordon is the perfect kind of competitor to test my limits, test my capabilities. He’s been a practice partner that I’ve been accustomed to rolling with since the beginning, since I first wet my feet in this sport. I’ve always chased the best, I’ve always wanted to compete against the best, I’ve always wanted to be the best, so this is my road to doing that.”
Understandably with a guy like Gordon Ryan, Nicky Rodriguez isn’t the only competitor who is eager to face off against him either. Felipe Pena has also moved up to the over 99kg weightclass at ADCC 2022 for the sole purpose of chasing Ryan down and having a third match with him to settle their beef once and for all. Whether we get to see one or both of these grudge matches at the event remains to be seen, but fans will no doubt be on the edge of their seats during the build-up.