Gordon Ryan is arguably the best grappler in the world. He's essentially unbeatable, but he's been in and out of competition for years.
And, according to Ryan, he's out again.
"I'm taking some time," Gordon wrote on Instagram. "I came back for ADCC 2022, which I barely made it to with my stomach. After ADCC, I got overconfident and went ahead and started competing again, which was against my initial plan. The 4th Pena camp was the hardest I ever pushed my body. The last 2 weeks, my body shut down, and after my best camp ever, I couldn't compete. Then, because of my stomach issues, my suppressed immune system took 45 days (on antibiotics) to clear a simple strep throat infection, which then colonized in my tonsils (also have strep and staph in my intestines), needing them to be removed. It took me 6 months to recover from that camp."
Gordon was supposed to face Mason Fowler at Fight Pass Invitational 6, but pulled out of the event. At the event he faced off with Fowler, who competed and won his bout, as a promise to eventually make the match happen.
But it doesn't look like that's on Gordon's priority list at the moment.
"What I went through these last few weeks wasn't fun. I was bedridden for weeks without eating, stomach full with bile, spending 3-4 hours a day belching and dry heaving in the bathroom. While living that, I've finally accepted and came to peace with the fact that my body can't handle the amount of pressure I put it under until my stomach and immune system is 100 percent better. My immune system simply can't handle the workload of camp after camp. I am going to attempt to, as hard as this is, not return to competition until my stomach on paper is 100 percent better. I don't care how much money I lose, I don't care what people think, I can not live like this."
This is not the first time Gordon has been vocal about his health issues. He even retired from competition in the past.
"When people say that nothing in life matters but your health, they are absolutely right," he said. "Feeling like I have been, I'd trade it all just to be healthy. As much as it pains me, I'm going to attempt to step away from all competitions EXCEPT ADCC until my stomach is 100 percent healthy on paper, by the tests, and by how I feel. Working at half better is only working on borrowed time until my body shuts down again from the workload I put on it. Taking however much time i need to get 100 percent healthy. I believe it will be better long term, obviously for day to day life, but also competition success and reliability as an athlete showing up. As hard as this is, I will only be competing at ADCC until my health is 100 percent restored, and if it's not, no one will ever do what I've done, so I can be at peace with that. Love you all."
The one event Gordon is willing to compete at is the pinnacle of no-gi competiton, ADCC, which is scheduled for August 2024.