The world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu has had many talented athletes over the years, but only a few have reached BJJ stardom and are considered legends. Among those legends, two of them seem to be considered GOAT (greatest of all time). These two are none other than Gordon Ryan and Roger Gracie. Both athletes are famous for their submission-heavy game and are regarded as the greatest submission artists jiu-jitsu has ever seen. Additionally, both athletes have won multiple medals and world championships.
Who Is a Better Submission Specialist?
Gordon Ryan and Roger Gracie are both famous for their submission-based approach to BJJ. Throughout their careers, many of their victories have been by way of submission. Gordon Ryan has had 97 wins in his career, and 80 of them are by submission, which is a staggering 82% submission rate. On the other hand, Roger Gracie has 76 wins in his black belt career, with 62 coming from submission, matching Gordon’s 82% submission rate.
During his career, Gordon Ryan has hit an impressive number of 19 different submissions on his opponents, with most of his wins coming via rear naked choke. As for Roger Gracie, he has had 12 different submissions in his career, the back choke being the most successful of them all. However, an important factor we have to take into consideration is that Gordon Ryan has had many submission-only matches, while Roger mostly competed under IBJJF and ADCC rules, where matches have a time limit. Since Gordon has submitted many high-level black belts both from the top and bottom positions, I believe he has a slight advantage when it comes to submissions.
Who Won More Titles?
Gordon Ryan is a 4-time ADCC champion and has won every major no-gi title in his career. He has also won the WNO heavyweight championship, dominantly beating Pedro Marinho. On top of that, he has won double gold at both the IBJJF World No-gi and Pan-American championships. Nonetheless, when it comes to winning in Brazilian jiu-jitsu Roger Gracie is second to none. Roger is a 10-time IBJJF World champion in the gi, a European champion, and a Pan-American champion. His biggest feat, however, is his double gold at the ADCC World Championship in 2005, where he submitted all 8 of his opponents, a record that will hardly ever be broken. It is clear that Roger Gracie has won more titles than Gordon Ryan, but it is important to note that Gordon is only 27 years old and has yet to hit his prime.
Which One Is the Goat of BJJ?
When it comes to who the greatest of all time is between these two, it is quite hard to decide. Both athletes have had tremendous careers and have accomplished feats that will hardly be broken in the near future. In my opinion, they are both considered the greatest of their generations, and GOAT status is reserved for both of them.
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Learn from the most successful closed guard player ever with Roger Gracie’s closed guard system, totally explained in this 4-part series
- Lock on airtight submissions that work at elite levels, including cross chokes, lapel chokes, arm locks, and more.
- Roger Gracie is one of the most dominant grapplers in history, with 10 Black Belt World Championships and 2-Time ADCC Champion – and he did it with old school Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.