As the countdown to the much-anticipated Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) return ensues, the tension between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legends Gordon Ryan and Nicky Rodriguez has reached a boiling point. Dubbed the “GOAT of BJJ,” Gordon Ryan recently upped the ante with a series of inflammatory remarks directed at his competitor, Nicky ‘Rod’ Rodriguez. The tension isn’t just building; it’s erupting into a full-blown spectacle that has enveloped the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world.
Gordon Ryan, often simply referred to as the BJJ GOAT, has been conspicuously absent from significant competitions since his triumphant win against Rodriguez at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3. In a recent revelation, Ryan delved into a formerly private WhatsApp conversation with Nicky Rod to make a strong point. He accused Rodriguez of being a “fraud” and extended what he described as a “Shhhoockerrr” to the community. What precisely is Ryan suggesting by ‘exposing frauds’ in the sport that both athletes hold dear?
Earlier, Nicky Rod had stirred the pot by questioning Ryan’s participation in the USADA testing pool. In response, Ryan assured, “have a contract coming to Nicky Rodriguez for USADA and WADA testing.” True to his word, Ryan presented evidence of his commitment via his Instagram.
The WhatsApp conversation displayed was anything but cordial. It primarily revolved around a ‘simple drug testing agreement,’ a prerequisite for their high-profile matchup slated for ADCC 2024. Nicky Rod’s counter-response to the testing proposition was unequivocal but demanding. He expressed a willingness to “commit to this for a financial incentive.”
Ryan was quick to fire back, stating that Rodriguez purportedly demanded $10,000 for each drug test he passes. Ryan expressed his disbelief in his signature confrontational manner, “show up looking like sh*t and lose…” He proposed that Rodriguez’s pecuniary incentive might just push him to compete naturally, potentially accruing more substantial earnings than what the ADCC purse could offer.
This discord is not an isolated incident but the culmination of a long-standing feud between the two athletes. Ryan had initially termed Nicky Rod a “fraud” after Rodriguez asserted that he received offers from WWE. In a provocative assertion, Ryan claimed it was he who had made it possible for Rodriguez to even have a WWE tryout, challenging Rodriguez’s assertions regarding training opportunities with wrestling legends like Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
Their enmity also extends to the mat, where they have engaged in high-stakes BJJ encounters on two previous occasions. Ryan emerged victorious both times, but these victories did not come without their share of drama. In their last duel during the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3, Rodriguez forced the match into EBI overtime and even attempted a game-changing heel hook, nearly sealing the win.
As the build-up to their ADCC 2024 matchup intensifies, the rivalry between these two Jiu-Jitsu titans has morphed into a multi-dimensional narrative, rife with personal and professional complexities. This clash extends beyond the realm of sporting competition and treads the waters of deeply personal vendettas.
The Jiu-Jitsu community, often characterised by its mutual respect and sportsmanship, finds itself engrossed in a rivalry that challenges these very principles. While the sport itself often emphasises honour and integrity, Ryan’s commitment to “exposing frauds” showcases that the fight is not just about titles or accolades but something far more personal.
As ADCC 2024 draws nearer, the impending showdown between Gordon Ryan and Nicky Rodriguez promises to be more than just a battle of skills; it’s shaping up to be a seismic event that could either settle their long-standing feud or deepen the schism between them. Given their recent hostilities and the multitude of layers their rivalry has revealed, predicting the outcome is a gamble. One thing is for certain, though: their upcoming match will likely be a landmark event in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, brimming with as much drama off the mat as on it.