‘Steroids are not illegal in jiujitsu’ – Gordon Ryan declines USADA call out from UFC FPI 4

BJJ star Gordon Ryan needs a lot of PR help.

By: Anton Tabuena | 3 months ago

Nicky Rodriguez was the biggest winner at the talent rich UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4 event, winning a $30,000 eight-man open weight tournament. He also called his shot after, asking to face Gordon Ryan in a USADA tested BJJ match between two former teammates turned rivals.

Ryan previously accused him of doing PEDs, leading to Rodriguez taking (and passing) a random drug test, along with this subsequent call for a match with strict drug testing.

Unsurprisingly, Ryan quickly declined the call out. He also pretty much admitted what has always been an open secret in jiujitsu.

Gordon Ryan declines USADA testing

“First of all, no, because steroids are not illegal in jiujitsu,” Gordon Ryan responded soon after the event. “Number two, I actually have a contract coming to Nicky Rod, for USADA and WADA testing from now until the next ADCC, so interesting to see if he’s gonna sign that.”

Ryan declined a match with additional testing, pretty much admitted he is on steroids, then offered one-sided drug testing for Nicky Rod only. While none of that makes any sense, Ryan says he’s earned it being among the most accomplished BJJ stars today.

“Like I said, I make the rules. I name the time. I name the place. I name the rule set, because I’ve earned that,” Ryan said.

B-Team had a big night during the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4. And with Craig Jones and Nicky Rod winning, no one was able to cash in on Ryan’s cash bounties against his former teammates. That didn’t stop the still sidelined BJJ star from trying to devalue their victories though.

Gordon Ryan also indirectly trashes teammate, UFC

Interestingly enough, while Ryan was going off and trying to discredit Nicky Rodriguez’s tournament win at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4, he also trashed his teammate and his promoter in the process.

“If you actually follow statistics, he sucks,” Ryan said about former teammate Nicky Rodriguez, who now represents the B-Team. He went on to belittle Rodriguez’s tournament win and opposition, which includes his New Wave teammate Dan Manasoiu.

“Coming off the performance that he had, just doing nothing. Not being able to take down Roberto (Jimenez), not doing anything to Roberto in regulation, barely winning overtime. Not really doing anything of significance to Vagner (Rocha). Having a pretty tightly contested overtime, then getting his arm broken by Dan (Manasoiu), who’s a purple belt,” Ryan said. “That’s just a joke.”

It wasn’t just a one time thing either. On Instagram, Ryan called Manasoiu, a 6-foot-7 pro known for breaking limbs, a “junior member of the squad” and a “junior level purple belt.”

Earlier in the week, Ryan proclaimed that he’s a proud member of the UFC, because he has headlined a UFC Fight Pass Invitational event in the past and plans to continue to do so. Unfortunately, the promotion was also part of the crossfire, when he tried to take shots at his former teammates.

“(Nicky Rodriguez is) trying to make the rules. Like, you’re a brown belt. You won a random tournament. You barely beat Roberto Jimenez, the guy I called my submission (on),” Ryan said.

“I think what happened in ADCC was pretty clear,” Gordon Ryan said. “A lot of the top guys went over there (to the B-Team), and we came home with three golds, a bronze and a silver. They didn’t win a single gold.

“They’re going to win local stuff like this,” Ryan said about UFC Fight Pass Invitational. “And they’ll beat the up and coming guys.”

BJJ star Gordon Ryan needs PR 101

Ryan previously faced off against Rodriguez to headline UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3. Rodriguez, known as the black belt slayer, actually broke his foot, but the injured Ryan impressively found a way to continue and win the match. It was close and so competitive that Ryan got hurt, became dangerously close to being finished, and only won in overtime by having a faster escape time.

Looking at that context, the possibility that he will have to rematch Rodriguez eventually, and how he’ll be the face of future BJJ events organized by the UFC, Ryan should be building both of them up instead of tearing them down.

It’s just not a good look if the “best in the world” had trouble against a talentless “brown belt,” who “sucks” and “doesn’t know any moves.” His previous — and future — victories or headlining spots at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational events also just loses all its luster, if it’s apparently just a “random local event” with weak “up and comers.”

Gordon Ryan has always been brash and controversial, and it has helped his brand up to this point. But he badly needs to brush up on the basics of PR and marketing, especially if he’s trying to break into a wider mainstream audience and outside of the relatively small BJJ scene.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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