Can Kaynan Duarte Overthrow Gordon Ryan And Claim The Throne?

Image Source: Kaynan Duarte/ Gordon Ryan via Instagram

Kaynan Duarte the ATOS megastar is an ADCC champion, IBJJF No-Gi Worlds, and Pan American champion, and he beats nearly everyone. 

At FloGrappling’s  Road To ADCC, Kaynan Duarte defeated 2019 ADCC gold medalist Matheus Diniz via a figure four-leg lace calf crush. 

This victory was Duarte’s 12th win in a row, 100th victory, and Duarte’s best performance to date.

He finished him in 2 minutes and 4 seconds, giving the ADCC gold medalist his 2nd submission loss in his career. 

In that small amount of time, Kaynan Duarte pulled Matheus Diniz down, dragged the gold medalist into the deepest trench, and then drowned him below the waves. 

Diniz left the mat limping to his corner. 

As you all know, one of Duarte’s main weaknesses for a long time was leglocks…. I no longer think that’s the case. 

(Click here to read my complete pre-match analysis on JiuJitsuTimes.)

According to his post-match interview, he has been training strictly submission grappling for five months, but more specifically— focusing on leg lock offense and defense. 

Take a moment and consider thinking about how scary that is…. 

We never see Kaynan Duarte attack many heel hooks on his opponents. His typical game plan is to employ an ATOS-style approach to his matches until he arrives at the submission finish. 

And Duarte is a world-class tactician from team ATOS with only one memorable loss in the last two years. 

That loss was at the last BJJ Bet tournament, against the legendary Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu who is a fellow ADCC champion. Cyborg was able to submit the whizz kid via inside heel hook. 

And before that loss, a 77kg Lachlin Giles submitted Kaynan Duarte via 50/50 heel hook in the 2019 ADCC absolute division. 

It’s safe to assume Duarte knew about his weakness for years, and it seems like his hard, remedial, work is starting to pay off. 

If he continues to work on his lower body submissions and escapes, he may eventually defeat Gordon “The King” Ryan, the 3x ADCC Gold Medalist, 2019 absolute champion, and the undisputed P.F.P best grappler. 

During Kaynan Duarte’ post-match interview, FloGrapppling’s Hywel Teague asked:

“How Duarte plans on becoming the best in the No-Gi scene?”

He responded with a very polite and professional call out:

“I have to fight against the best; give me the best guy in the world.”

It’s safe to presume this message was targeted at Gordon Ryan. This match needs to happen!

It’s clear that the only person in the world— emphasis on only, capable of defeating Ryan is Duarte.

And although at  2018 No-Gi Pans, Kaynan Duarte lost to Gordon Ryan via rear-naked strangulation, it’s about time Kaynan Duarte gets another shot at the King’s throne. 

Duarte has proven he is significantly better than his opponents, his past self, and is shattering through his glass ceilings. FloGrappling needs to make this match happen and give the fans what they want!

But also keep in mind, the Brazilian’s game before approached perfection, even before he started working on lower body submissions. He beat ADCC champions, rising superstars, experienced stalwarts, and legends in this sport— both gi and No-Gi. 

Kaynan Duarte can wrestle, pass, retain guard, submit his opponents, and initiate counterattacks efficiently, with his bread and butter being highly efficient back attacks.

And before Ryan submitted Duarte at the 2018 No-Gi Pans, Duarte even countered the King’s inside Ashi-garami entry into a successful back take.

Who does that to Gordon Ryan? 

Final Thoughts

He is on a mission to engrave his name as one of the greatest grapplers of his generation—eerrr, scratch that— of all time. 

The 23-year-old Kaynan Duarte is not the best in the world right now, but he shows a level of dominance we haven’t seen in decades. 

And remember, this Duarte is a future legend who has not reached his prime performance years, and his game is already brilliantly poetic. 

That said, Gordon Ryan did state in a FloGrappling interview back in February 2021 that he won’t battle Kaynan Duarte because of personal issues between them.  

So, I guess we are going to have to wait until the 2022 ADCC absolute finals…. if they both make it— because you never know who might come along and take them out. 

This is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, after all.


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