Nicky Ryan hasn’t had luck with injuries over the last few years. Specifically, with knee injuries…
And around one week prior to ADCC 2022, he suffered one of the worst possible injuries there are. A fully torn ACL.
But how did it happen? Well, the injury took place during wrestling training.
Ryan revealed the backstory in a recent conversation with Lex Fridman:
I was wrestling with this guy named Kenta [Iwamoto] who was also competing and I went to go lift him from a Rear Bodylock.
And he hooked the outside of my leg and we just felt something pop.
When it first happened it hurt for the first 30 seconds and I honestly debated… I was like: “Maybe it’s just some freak thing.”
I literally thought about continuing the session.
However, it was much more serious than what Nicky thought initially. And it “messed with him”:
Then the next day I woke up and it was super sore. I was limping around and couldn’t do a full squat.
It pretty much killed all of my training for the entire week leading up to the event. I couldn’t train or anything, messed up my cut…
Obviously there’s added nerves with that too. You’re not in the gym every day leading up to the competition.
It wouldn’t be after ADCC 2022 that he’d go to the doctor and get diagnosed with a fully torn ACL, though.
Because Nicky Ryan still went ahead and competed:
I wasn’t really able to pull guard because I couldn’t get full heel-to-butt connection, which is inevitable with my guard.
I was very hesitant to shoot as well, so I came out with the idea of just trying to use hand fighting to tire my first opponent out and then mainly look to get to underhooks or overhooks and do mostly upper-body wrestling.
In the beginning of the match I successfully got to an underhook, got to a rear-bodylock, he tried to roll and I ended up in top position in side control.
But it was during the no points period and as the match went on I gassed out, and eventually he ended up taking me down and scoring with two hooks on the back.