Does Nicky Ryan’s Road To Supremacy Start With His Win Over Dante Leon?

Photo By: FloSports/Corey Stockton

Last Saturday at FloGrappling’s Road To ADCC, Nicky Ryan dominated Dante Leon with a 5-0 victory. Ryan was able to shoot under Leon’s arms, clear his hips, and take him down several times with multiple double legs. Nicky Ryan’s victory over Dante Leon was— to say the least—impressive.

Dante Leon is an ADCC veteran with strong wrestling prowess. Leon is one of the most exciting grapplers to watch, and he does not get taken down quickly. The Ohio native is well-rounded.

During my pre-match analysis, which you can read by clicking here, I said Dante Leon’s style might pose a significant threat against Nicky Ryan’s game— I was shortsighted and wrong. 

This was not the case. 

Ryan was able to bypass the Ohioan’s strengths, drag him into deep water, and run a wrestling clinic on Leon. Nicky Ryan made Dante Leon look like he was having a bad day, which was entirely unexpected.

That said, over the past year, Gordon Ryan has mentioned on several occasions that his little brother Nicky is his most formidable training partner. He even joked during Nicky’s last match that he wanted Dante to pass his little brother’s guard, so he could have a blueprint for doing the same in training. 

It’s safe to say we are finally starting to see the Nicky Ryan that Gordan Ryan boasts about. 

We are beginning to see the evolution of the king’s little brother into the throne— A Game of Thrones ascendency if you will. Nicky’s guard passing and wrestling development are evident in his match against Leon; he’s finally leveraging his momentum. 

I believe this is something he must live up to.

Nicky Ryan has big shoes to fill, seeing as his older brother is the greatest submission grappler of all time and the #1 pound for pound in the world. This is precisely why Ryan pushed through his mid match knee injury and managed to negate the onslaught of the ADCC veteran’s superb passing attempts.  

Nicky Ryan’s mental fortitude and toughness were reminiscent of Gordan Ryan’s mentality during his 2018 EBI overtime rounds against Craig Jones. This may be a good sign that we are witnessing the start of a new era in the welterweight division, the beginning of the Nicky Ryan empire. 

Ryan is on a mission to engrave his name as one of the greatest grapplers of his generation. 

The 20-year-old finally seems to be finding his groove at his new weight class and showcasing his prowess again. After Ryan recovers from his knee injury, we may start seeing the dominance we once saw when he was 12 years old submitting 25-year-old men.

The New Jersey native’s grappling game was once brilliantly Shakespearean, and he has the chance to surpass that level.

… Only time will tell.


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Max Takaesu Hsu
“After graduating in May 2018 with a B.S. in Cyber Security, Max Takaesu Hsu decided to pursue Martial Arts as his path. He began training at the legendary Renzo Gracie Academy. Two years later after spending countless hours on the mats with numerous high level competitors and world champions, like the Danaher Death Squad, he decided to travel the world. This digital nomad goes by the nom de plume, the Wandering Warrior Poet and, is currently working from Kyiv, Ukraine. Over the past 18 months, he has trained and lived in Turkey, Japan, Honolulu, and Serbia. You can follow the Wandering Warrior Poet on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.” https://www.jiujithsunomad.com/

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