BJJ star Gordon Ryan celebrates ‘amazing’ USADA-UFC split: PED use shows drive for greatness

BJJ superstar Gordon Ryan explains his contrasting views on PEDs as he celebrated the UFC's split with USADA.

By: Anton Tabuena | 2 months ago

With the UFC’s surprising split with USADA supposedly being about Conor McGregor, Gordon Ryan thinks the MMA world leader should go a step further.

Instead of continuing with strict drug testing or looking for a new anti-doping partner, the BJJ star and admitted PED expert believes that MMA should be more like his sport, where drugs aren’t illegal and testing is almost non-existent.

BJJ star Gordon Ryan hoping USADA-UFC split means no more drug testing

BJJ star Gordon Ryan's body transformation from Instagram. He spoke about UFC, USADA and PEDs.
Instagram @gordonlovesjiujitsu

Gordon Ryan is hoping USADA’s departure leads to the UFC going back to the wild west, where anyone can take whatever substance they like. Although unlike BJJ, MMA involves striking and more brain damage, Ryan still believes that allowing PEDs to make everyone “more physical” will be better for the sport and its athletes.

“If the UFC ‘regresses’ back to the old days, this is amazing news,” Gordon Ryan wrote on social media.

“The reason people watch professional sports is almost exclusively for entertainment value. Few people who watch pro sports have any real desire to excel at those same sports, so really, they are just watching for the most entertainment.

“The higher the testosterone, the more physical the athletes are, the less prone to injury they are, the faster they recover, the longer they can compete, and the more entertaining and high paced they are,” he argued.

“The better they look, the more attention they draw, the more money they make.”

USADA and UFC anti-doping program logo

Gordon Ryan says USADA is easy to cheat… if you have money

Much like the recent comments from a next UFC title contender saying fighters just pay $20,000 for “a good doctor”, Gordon Ryan says PED use is still rampant in mixed martial arts, even during this USADA era.

“In addition, people think that just because athletes are being tested by USADA or WADA that they are natural LMAOOO. With the l amount of money, pride, and legacies on the line, BEATING drug tests has become a multi-billion dollar industry,” he wrote.

“This means that the athletes who have money or are a part of big teams with the resources needed are able to actually beat the tests. This has historically been proven time and time again. This means top-tier athletes have the money and resources to use PED’s and get away with it, and up and comers don’t.

“This creates an uneven playing field. If there’s no testing, then every athlete can use what he or she wants, and the playing field is now level.”

Gordon Ryan at a UFC Fight Pass Invitational press event.
Louis Grasse IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Cheating? No, Gordon Ryan sees PEDs as a badge of honor

Performance Enhancing Drugs aren’t illegal in BJJ, and it’s interesting that Gordon Ryan holds a contrasting view on the matter compared to most in other sports.

While some people may consider PEDs as cheating or taking a shortcut, Ryan seemingly sees the idea of taking more substances than the average BJJ juicer as some type of badge of honor. Somehow that means he has more drive, and far more willing to take more risks compared to everyone else in order to achieve greatness.

“An argument that could be made for the athletes who choose not to use PED’s for various reasons, but at the end of the day, if you want to be a UFC champion, and you know there’s something out there that is legal, that could pretty significantly increase performance when taken correctly, and you choose not to take it, how bad do you really want to he a UFC champion? To be the greatest of all time?” Gordon Ryan wrote.

“To be the GREATEST OF ALL TIME at anything worthwhile means doing things others won’t do. If you want to be average, do what everyone else does,” he argued.

“If the UFC chooses to stop drug testing, the sport will blow up, athletes will be healthier and compete longer, and fans will enjoy watching more…period.”

Gordon Ryan, as the photo above partly shows, went from a really good 160 lb. grappler, to a jacked 230 lb heavyweight bruiser. He did achieve that greatness that he wants, being a five-time ADCC champ, and now considered as one of the best no gi grapplers of all time.

At just 28-years-old though, the BJJ star has already been dealing with a lot of serious health issues in the last couple of years. It’s unclear how much of that is due to the substances he’s been taking, but surgery and various conditions has been bad enough that he was sidelined for almost a year.

Gordon Ryan recently won in his BJJ return, putting on another dominant performance in what was pretty much a tune up match for the all-time great. He has since linked up with his MMA counterpart, and is currently helping a fellow decorated champion in Jon Jones train for Stipe Miocic at UFC 295.

UPDATE: UFC announces new anti-doping partner as USADA back and forth gets ugly

After their split with USADA, UFC has since announced their next anti-doping partner. For whatever is worth as things are really getting ugly between the two orgs, but this was a change that USADA did predict, while also calling out the MMA promotion for wanting to control drug testing and now having transparency or a true independent body overseeing things.

So basically, while USADA argues that testing will have a much lower standard as it’ll be too flexible to UFC’s wants and needs, we still don’t know how things will shake out, but it certainly won’t be the wild west that Gordon Ryan was excited about.

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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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