Recently, popular up-and-coming tournament promotion Grappling Industries announced that both Gordon Ryan and Tom DeBlass of team RGA, close friends who have never faced each other in competition, signed up for an absolute bracket that is open to the general public. DeBlass later confirmed that, assuming the two make it to the finals, they will compete against each other in spite of their long standing relationship.
The match up has led to a lot of speculation, namely which of these two elite competitors will be victorious.
DeBlass has the weight advantage, though this advantage seems to be constantly decreasing given Gordon’s highly successful campaign to pack on muscle. Tom has also been practicing jiu-jitsu seriously since Gordon was a small child. In fact, he opened up his academy in 2006 when Gordon was just 11 years old. Yet DeBlass is still in peak physical condition, actively competing against the elite of the sport.
On the other side of things, Ryan has cut through just about anyone put in front of him, only being submitted once since starting his black belt reign as the self-proclaimed King of Jiu-Jitsu. DeBlass himself has said that Gordon is one of the best around; so if the two face off in the finals of this absolute bracket, it will be a sight to behold.
DeBlass’ major advantage in any contest is that he is seemingly indestructible. The Ocean County Jiu Jitsu owner said he has only been submitted twice in his entire competition career, and has never had his guard passed. Both of these are extremely rare feats.
Gordon on the other hand is Gordon; he has destroyed just about anyone put in front of him with very few exceptions, often beating jiu-jitsu royalty at invitationals and in open competition. I reached out to Gordon to get his thoughts on the potential upcoming match and, like his mentor’s mentor/possible opponent, he proved to be a man of few but poignant words:
“Tom was always there for me. He was like a dad to me and would also beat me like an angry dad. But now it’s my time. He knows what happens in training. And now it’s just time to show the world he’s just an outdated version of today’s real athletes.”
Grappling Industries Manhattan will be happening on Saturday, August 19. Both the regular tournament as well as the absolute division featuring these two incredible competitors are open for registration to the general public until Tuesday night. That’s right, if you have the chops and the skill set for it, you can sign up and prevent this match from happening by beating one of these guys.
Sign up here: