Just a few of days ago, Gordon Ryan won a hard-fought match against Nicky Rodriguez at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 3 – based on escape time in overtime.
However, prior to that and after his last training session leading up to the bout, Ryan also rolled with the 2018 and 2019 World’s Strongest Man winners – Hafthor Björnsson and Martins Licis.
So what was the whole experience like? Ryan shared his answer in an interview for the MMA Hour:
Probably the dumbest and most risky career choice I’ve ever made, because it was the day before I was supposed to compete, and I was like, man, if I get hurt, John [Danaher] is going to kill me.
So, I told them I wasn’t drilling with them. I taught them a private before and I’m like: “I’m not drilling with you guys, you’re too big.”
Then the camera guy is like: “You guys want to roll?” So I look around, we had just finished training, it was the day before competition… I look, see John is nowhere to be found, and I’m like: “Let’s do a quick one.”
Gordon had more trouble with Licis than with Björnsson, for one simple reason:
Martins actually used to wrestle so he has some good instincts. He has a good base, he’s hard to sweep, he’s super strong, he’s a lot more compact than Thor. Thor’s a lot bigger and longer.
Obviously, just the strongest guys you’re ever going touch from every position, but believe it or not, the mechanics and the body position mean a lot more than the overall strength.
Overall, it was a positive experience for Ryan:
It was a great experience because I didn’t get hurt, thank God, and it ended up paying off: I got a bunch of Instagram followers. So my risk to reward was correct for this one.