Reaching the top is hard enough, but staying there… Could be even more difficult.
However, at least for the time being, that doesn’t seem to be a problem for Gordon Ryan.
Arguably the best no-gi submission grappler that has walked the face of the Earth, Ryan enjoys the pressure he faces every time he steps on the mat – even though he doesn’t feel that he has a worthy rival.
At the moment, Gordon is focused on strengthening the name he has made for himself.
Essentially, he wants to „transcend“ the sport, as he explained in an interview for MMA Fighting:
You need an athlete in a sport that sort of transcends what that sport is and it kind of goes deeper and bigger than what the sport is.
A perfect example is Tony Hawk. I never watched a single skateboarding event. Most of my friends never watched skateboarding, but you still know who Tony Hawk is.
Ryan explained that he wants to wants to be akin to Tony Hawk when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu… Though he also needs rivals – which he feels aren’t any:
You need those Tony Hawks, the Michael Jordans, the Muhammad Alis, and you need that one guy that can do it all, that has the persona, that has the charisma and most importantly can win consistently, you need at least one of those guys to really build the sport.
You also need rivals, which is my problem right now because I don’t really have any.
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