In recent years Gordon Ryan has become the dominant name in the BJJ world. Its hard to think if anyone in the jiu jitsu world has not heard of "King" Ryan. The current ADCC champion and WNO heavyweight champion ( among many other titles) has put on a run of absolute dominance since 2019 despite reported health issues. To establish his dominance Gordon began to call his submissions before the match through methods such as handing the judges a sealed envelope containing the submission he was aiming to finish his opponent with to be opened after the match.
With this in mind there are two main questions in mind coming into every matchup with Gordon. What submission is he going for this time round? Will Pedro be able to hand another loss to Gordon. Felipe is one of the few to do that since 2017.
Stepping up to face Gordon this time is Pedro Marinho. Pedro is no slouch when it comes to grappling, holding titles such as IBJJF Nogi world champion and WNO champion at 205lbs. Though he’s suffered a fair few losses in 2022 so far.
For many grappling enthusiasts, the writing was on the wall for this match, with many people online seeing this as nothing more than a “warm up event” for Gordon vs Filipe in august. Especially as Gordon has already soundly defeated Pedro before at ADCC in 2019. According to Gordon the match was supposed to be against Tim Spriggs but he declined the match against Gordon and was subsequently stripped of his WNO belt.
The match was set to be a 30 minute time limit match. Walking out Gordon once again handing a sealed envelope to mat side staff.
The match began with Pedro immediately moving to challenge Gordon on the feet with aggressive wrestling with an attempted throw by to Russian tie entry, followed up by an attempted foot tip, which Gordon shut down by maintaining a strong base. Pedro would continue to attempt 2 on 1 attacks on the feet such as attempted arm drags, while Gordon would play heavily off the collar tie with good stance, forcing Pedro to move in and out to avoid having his posture broken while in the process of hand fighting. During these standing exchanges Pedro successfully secured a single leg, however was unable to do anything with it.
Gordons game on the feet seemed to play between a heavy collar tie game to force a pullback reaction which would allow hit to attempt footsweeps, all while maintaining strong posture and head position to avoid getting snapped down into Pedros front headlock game. Gordon eventually hit a foot sweep and worked round to a rear bodylock, from which Pedro desperately looked to escape to guard and secure Gordons head to begin attacking his famous guillotine, however he was ultimately unsuccessful as Gordon slipped his head out, leaving Pedro in a bottom half guard situation. From there Pedro attempted to gain access to Gordons legs though he would ultimately end up in a headquarters type position with Gordon ontop after narrowly evading a leg drag attempt by Gordon.
Both athletes had to be reset to the middle of the mats in this position. Gordon began to crush Pedro from top half guard, shutting down Pedros attempt to elevate him using an underhook on Gordons outside leg and then using heavy pressure from a crossface and an underhook to slowly advance position and pass into mount. From there Gordon began to attempt to smother and choke Pedro, being comfortable with going back into Pedros half guard and passing again, while also finding time to have a mid match conversation with the commentary team.
Gordon shortly afterwards made it clear he was looking for the smother choke as he once again attacked it, with Pedro showing clear signs of panic on bottom, desperately trying to use a frame in the armpit to create some breathing room. Pedro went as far as throwing away his mouth guard to allow himself to breathe better and then desperately turning belly down to get away from Gordons horrific top pressure, completely giving up his back.
Gordon did not seem amused by this situation. We know that Gordon is one of the best guys at attacking the back so it seems like this may have been a gamble on Pedros part that he knew that Gordon was going to look for the smother choke and wasn’t going to attack another submission. Gordon attempted to turn him over using half nelsons and power half nelsons. Gordon managed to turn Pedro back to mount using an arm triangle (kata gatame), then releasing it and isolating the head and arm to attempt to attack the smother choke again with Pedro suffering and panicking again on bottom, using a wedge under the armpit again to create breathing room.
From here Gordon appeared to change tactics as he stepped back into half guard, giving up a knee shield half guard then pressure passed back in, moving to a three quarter mount and isolating the head and arm again, singing along to the background music as he moved to attack a smother choke again which was once again unsuccessful. Once again changing tactics, moving to a knee on belly and moving to take Pedros back as he turned to turtle and then turn him back over to mount with a half nelson to once again isolate head and arm.
Pedro briefly managed to change to a single leg x variation by turning to turtle as getting his legs in as Gordon attempted to reset him to mount with a half nelson. Though it would ultimately mean little as Gordon quickly forced back into half, took the back out of a guard pass and forced himself back into top mount and from there continued to attack the smother choke with Pedro shutting it down using the wedge in the armpit trick. Gordon seemed to notice time round 4.40 and at this point moved to the back and secured a body triangle, then easily finished Pedro via rear naked choke, though Gordon didn’t seem pleased with it.
In the post match interview Gordon would reveal the note that said “Should I smother tap Pena too?”. With Gordon admitting that he couldn’t finish the smother tap on Pedro due to the wedge in the armpit defence that he kept employing. He also announced that he doesn’t have a plan to finish Pena with a given submission and that he plans on simply “torturing” Pena.