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Gordon Ryan accuses former teammate of being greasy, using steroids.

At 8am on February 13th 2023 Mark Bell’s Power Project posted a podcast featuring stalwart jiu jitsu competitor Nicky Rodriguez. By 9am, former teammate to Nicky Rod and current adversary, Gordon Ryan had posted a characteristically typical type of post for Gordon Ryan. On one half of the picture is a screen shot of Nicky Rod from Flograppling’s account. He looks strong, but with a winter coat of fat despite not wearing a shirt. The picture on the right looks as if it were taken by Gordon himself, a gym shot where Nicky is wearing a tank top and looking absolutely massive in the shoulders and chest. The caption goes on to say, “I am a man of my word. We had an agreement to not talk shit about one another publicly when the team split.” The team in reference is the Danaher Death Squad, which disbanded after spending the pandemic shutdowns in Costa Rica, trying not to miss a beat in training and competing while the rest of the jiu jitsu world was underground or shuttered. “He is on camera admitting to greasing multiple times, I’ve seen him before competition grease up multiple times, and I purposely wore a long sleeve rash guard at ADCC for ONLY ONE MATCH because I knew he would be greased.” Ryan goes on to accuse Rodriguez of basing his famous body lock system off of something he learned from Gordon and John Danaher. He claims that Nicky Rod is, “as natural as liver king, and like liver king, built an entire brand on blatant lies.” Gordon’s accusations continued in the next couple hours over another post and several Instagram stories. In Gordon’s second post, he screenshots a group message between himself, Nicky Rod, and the team over at Flograppling. The messages from April are penned by Gordon with no response, offering a match before last year’s ADCC championship tournament. In the 2022 ADCC, Nicky Rod and Gordon faced off in the 99+ finals, where Gordon submitted him with a heel hook within a minute.
Gordon Ryan is famous in this niche sport for a few different reasons, two of the biggest being his unbeaten streak of over 50 no-gi jiu jitsu matches in just a few years, a miracle grade achievement in a sport where losses are a part of everyone’s records, and absolutely flaming people online. Every competitor that deigns to smack talk Gordon gets an iPhone full of hate before getting crushed on the mats. When asked on Mark Bell’s Power Project podcast what makes Gordon such a dominant champion Nicky Rod responded by saying, “…steroids. You can’t gain fifty pounds of muscle and say it’s irrelevant. It’s pretty…relevant.” Nicky goes on to reiterate his natural athlete status and make the claim that he has never greased or cheated in any way.
In a sport where the drug tests are multiple choice, these kinds of designations seem unnecessary. When people talk about the major jiu jitsu competitions and PEDs, they do so with a wink and a nudge, these matches following in the tradition of PRIDE and pre-USADA UFC in that steroids are the worst kept secret they have. That being said, like the body building community, some athletes and martial artists seem honor bound to lie about their PED use.

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