Gordon Ryan managed to compete for a total of only three times in 2021. He submitted Roberto Jimenez and Vagner Rocha at Who’s Number One (WNO); but then had to stay on the sidelines for much of the year due to stomach issues. Then, he returned to competition with an exhibition match in October, against UFC welterweight athlete Philip Rowe.
Using his Instagram account, Ryan shared how much money he would have made from competition in 2021 if he was healthy… And it’s at least $180,000:
For everyone who thinks I’m just faking my stomach. I was just doing some calculations for my taxes and… If I was healthy enough to compete all year, I was set to make another 180k just with competitions, win or lose, 180k.
I left it on the table because it’s unprofessional for me to compete in the physical state I’m in right now. Let’s hope this year is better.
Gordon Ryan also added that it’s time to turn BJJ into a more “professional” sport:
Also, let’s talk about how embarrassing it is that an athlete in our sport, sitting where I am, can’t even make a quarter million [dollars] a year competing 6 times. We need to do better, we need to be more exciting, we need more eyes on the sport, and I can’t do it alone, especially not unhealthy.
Let’s make this ADCC the turning point in our sport. From amateur… To professional.