Famous boxer Marvin Hagler once delivered a quote that often rings true in combat sports. Hagler was quoted saying:
“It’s tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5am when you’re sleeping in silk pajamas.”
This is a line people often quote when they discus a demise of a Boxing/MMA great. For some people, the struggle seems to be the ultimate motivator when it comes to training.
A typical example of this is Conor McGregor. A lot of people believe that once he hit it big and started making winning business ventures, the dedication slowly veined.
BJJ ace Gordon Ryan is a major star. Ryan achieved a lot of accomplishments that nobody had ever done before in BJJ, including making major profits from the sport where majority of athletes competes for free.
Majority of BJJ world champions, actually ponied up a fee to the federation just to enter into the championships. In that kind of climate, it’s no surprise Gordon Ryan managed to cultivate quite a fanbase.
Ryan recently went on the MMA Hour and detailed that he makes more money than most UFC champions.
But his next big test came at UFC’s Grappling Invitational. Ryan was unexpectedly matched with a younger, more athletic opponent in Nick Rodriguez who ended up breaking his ankle in process. Ryan still managed to win but clearly the close call left a lasting impression.
Ryan penned an interesting post on social media, explaining he would be giving up a series of luxuries he acquired over the years:
“2023 will be a year of change. My name has been in a lot of peoples mouths, as it has been for many years. My entire career I have been uncomfortable and unsatisfied. I’ve lived a great life, but it was always uncomfortable.”
“Living In jersey and commuting 1000 miles a week to train, then living in Harlem and well, living in Harlem 😂, then to a beautiful house in NJ but living with 4 other people, and then to a s**tty little house in PR that we rented. It’s been a fun ride, and I don’t dare complain, but it’s been uncomfortable the whole way here.”
“When I took a leave of absence for my stomach I focused on only my health and being as comfortable as possible while i was healing up. I live in a beautiful house, in a beautiful state. I wake up in my comfortable and beautiful king size bed and get in one of my comfortable and beautiful cars to drive to (hard) training, then I come home and lift weights in my beautiful gym.”
“My stomach is now far better than it was in the last 4 years, yet still a long way off from being back to normal. With that being said, I am ready to be uncomfortable again and I am making some changes to do so. I will no longer sleep in my bed, I will sleep on some cushions on the floor so every single day I wake up In bad mood. ”
“I will keep all of my cars, but I have bought this base Toyota corolla (big gord had a 1990) to drive around in like I did when I was 17 (I had a base civic). I will drive to training in a car I hate, after waking up miserable in the morning, only to train all day on a strict schedule, then go to bed. I will bring myself back to the old days when I had nothing, and the only things that will matter is of course my stomach, that’s still priority… and jiu jitsu.”
“I will live on the mats, even if my stomach is acting up, for the next 12 months minimum. Emotions are generally weakness and my only focus this coming year will be jiu jitsu. There have been a lot of competitors with my name in their mouth both before and after ADCC, and now I will suffer everyday, just so you can suffer when we share the mats. Good f**king luck, and please keep talking, both publicly and privately, because I have eyes everywhere.”
Regardless of how you feel about Ryan, this is definitely an interesting move. As is, Ryan hasn’t lost a match since the ADCC 2017 absolute finals. He will be facing the man who defeated him then, Felipe Pena in a rematch in early 2023.