Nicky Rodriguez has so far been the only former member of the DDS who has publicly discussed the reasons behind the super-team’s demise, and now he’s decided to do so again. The team led by John Danaher were at one point the most successful no gi grappling team on the planet, but decided to part ways shortly after they moved down to Puerto Rico. In the end they split almost directly down the middle, with John Danaher moving to Austin and staying with his most successful student Gordon Ryan, and rising MMA star Garry Tonon.
Nicky Rodriguez on the other hand chose to remain with the majority of the DDS competitive team, also moving to Austin, Texas to open up a new gym with Craig Jones, Nicky Ryan, and Ethan Crelinsten. Although none of the members of the B-Team have had any bad words for their former coach and teammates, there will be plenty of competition between the two teams. Rodriguez himself will be in the same weightclass as Gordon Ryan at the 2022 ADCC world championships and he has said that he is enjoying the anticipation of that match. Despite the fact that Nicky Rodriguez hasn’t had any bad words to say about Ryan specifically, his explanation of the DDS split indicates that there was some deterioration in the relationships between unnamed teammates:
“We parted ways, it was a few factors. Once COVID hit we moved to Puerto Rico. The team wasn’t really getting along too well in Puerto Rico just because we had some inner issues and stuff. It was honestly a lot healthier for us to split off and do our own thing. So we came here to Austin, we set up B-Team jiu-jitsu in Austin, training out there now. John still has a couple guys that he trains with in Austin but on a separate side of town. Honestly, Austin is the capitol for jiu-jitsu in the US. It’s gotta be. It’s got multiple schools, really high level guys everywhere you go. We separated because it’s definitely more beneficial to go our separate ways. We were just having a little bit of animosity in the room and it was taking away from our ability to learn…”
“You have too many lions in one den, it can get rough… Yeah. That’s all I’ll say.”
In fairness to Rodriguez, he did also comment on John Danaher specifically and he had absolutely nothing but good words to say about his former coach:
“John changed my game. He’s super knowledgeable. He’s the best jiu-jitsu coach there is.”
The full interview with Nicky Rodriguez where he discusses the DDS split was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Bart and Geo, hosts of the Get Close podcast: