Gordon Ryan MMA: When will “The King” debut in the UFC?

Gordon Ryan MMA

Gordon Ryan is the biggest name in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling scene today. He has cemented his status as the BJJ GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) and has shown interest in transitioning to MMA.

Will Gordon Ryan do MMA?
When will Gordon Ryan transition to MMA?
How would Gordon Ryan do in MMA?

Let’s answer all these questions and see what Gordon himself has to say on the topic.

When will Gordon Ryan debut in MMA?

In a UFC Fight Pass Interview, Gordon Ryan was asked: “Is there still any future for you inside Mixed Martial Arts, or are you solely grappling?”

Gordon answered:

“Maybe if one of my teammates actually won an ADCC Absolute, and I can just [pass it on] to them.”

“To be honest, my coach John has never been wrong at much. He seems to think that I should stick with grappling. For right now I will stick with grappling.”

After becoming part of the UFC invitational, Gordon acknowledges that taking a step towards the MMA scene, and especially the UFC, will make Jiu Jitsu more popular and win more fans. He states:

“I think that this is a big jump not just for me but for the sport as a whole.”

“First it was a crossover between wrestling and Jiu Jitsu. But now you are having the crossover between Mixed Martial Arts and Jiu Jitsu.”

“The UFC partnership with grapplers is going to catapult us forward into a new realm.”

Watch the full interview here:

You can watch Gordon Ryan fighting his former teammate Nicky Rod on UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3 in the following video:

Gordon Ryan debating his MMA debut with Joe Rogan

In May 2021, Gordon Ryan debated possibly transitioning to MMA with Joe on the Joe Rogan Experience MMA Podcast #109.

After previously talking about Gordon Ryan’s achievements in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Joe Rogan suggests:

“The next course of progression for a guy like you would be MMA.”

Gordon explains what’s holding him back from doing MMA:

“John doesn’t want me to compete in MMA.”

“I need at least someone on my team to be able to do the things that I’m doing before I can move away from Jiu Jitsu and into MMA. I want what’s best for the team, even if it’s not what’s best for me. I want what’s best for John’s team.”

Gordon makes his point clear by saying:

“I want to go into ADCC with my team and win every single division.”

Joe goes on asking Gordon who coaches his teammate Garry Tonon in striking, wrestling and other aspects of MMA, as this person would probably also coach Gordon in MMA:

“John is our striking coach. I’m telling you, John knows just as much about every other martial art as he knows about Jiu Jitsu. John is our wrestling coach, John is Jiu Jitsu coach, John is our striking coach, John is our MMA coach. John coaches Garry for every aspect of MMA.”

You can watch the Joe Rogan Experience MMA Podcast #109 clip here:

Gordon Ryan UFC Debut

Gordon Ryan has fought in the UFC already, but in a grappling match and not in a Mixed Martial Arts fight.

You can watch him fight former teammate Nicky Rod on UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3 in December 2022 in the video earlier in this article.

As far as a potential Mixed Martial Arts UFC Debut goes, there’s no information so far.

Gordon Ryan in One Championship (One FC)

Gordon Ryan signed a contract with One Championship in March 2021 . Unfortunately, he never fought for the promotion, because first the Corona Pandemic and then his stomach issues prevented him from doing so.

Later he announced that he didn’t renew the contract and

MMA and Drug Testing

Since most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu promotions don’t do any drug testing, there is a high probability that many athlete are using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).

Gordon Ryan is one of the athletes that has been accused of steroid and PED abuse countless times, referencing his great physique and body transformation. Check out our separate in-depth article discussing Gordon Ryan’s potential steroid use.

Gordon Ryan Steroids

Gordon Ryan Steroids in BJJ: Is the King Natural or on PEDs?

Is Gordon Ryan on Steroids?
Is he Natural?
Does it even matter?


For example, UFC athletes are tested rigorously by USADA, and countless big athletes like Jon Jones and Alistair Overeem have faced suspensions in the past.

For this reason, many people in the martial arts space doubt that Gordon Ryan will make his MMA debut and leave the untested competition scene.

Gordon Ryan MMA FAQ

Everything you need to know about Gordon Ryan’s MMA career in a short format:

Gordon Ryan’s current MMA record is 0-0 as he has never fought an MMA fight.

As of now, there is no date set for Gordon Ryan’s MMA debut, which is very unfortunate for all Mixed Martial Arts fans.

We can only speculate how Gordon would do in MMA, as there is no striking and MMA fighting footage of him available. He would certainly come prepared as he is very methodical and has one of the best and most well-rounded martial arts coaches in the world, John Danaher.

Unfortunately, it is anyone’s guess if Gordon Ryan will ever fight in MMA at this point, as it has become quiet around the topic.


In summary, we are probably not going to see Gordon Ryan in MMA anytime soon. There was speculation, but there was never a specific date for a Gordon Ryan MMA debut.

This is unfortunate for all MMA fans and all Gordon Ryan haters that would love to see him possibly get beat up.

However, it is certainly a good thing for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu if Gordon Ryan keeps actively competing in BJJ. He is by far the biggest name in the sport and plays a big role in making it more popular.

Whatever Gordon decides to do, it is certainly also a financial decision at this point. All eyes are on him.

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