The biggest star in no gi grappling has signed a historic contract with one of the sport’s biggest streaming providers. Announced through social media earlier today, Broadcast company FloSports revealed that Ryan agreed to the multi-fight deal to compete under FloGrappling’s Who’s Number One (WNO) tournament series.
“This in my opinion is the biggest jump the sport has taken since Royce dominated in the UFC,” Ryan wrote in an Instagram post.”
Ryan is no stranger to the promotion, having won the WNO Heavyweight title last year as well as hosting his video podcast “The King Ryan Show” on the network. The announcement follows the ADCC champion’s win over former teammate Nicky Rodriguez at the UFC’s Fight Pass Invitational last December.
“At 27 years old, Gordon Ryan is already the best no-gi jiu-jitsu grappler in the world,” FloSports Co-founder and CEO Mark Floreani said in a statement for Flo’s website. “His participation in our WNO Series helps us create the biggest stage possible which will highlight male and female athletes from across the globe on a more consistent basis. We are committed to helping grow the sport for the fans and athletes. This requires an investment in terms of events, content, our digital platform and more.”
Earning potential of that kind in pro grappling has been traditionally met with disbelief. Fellow grappling legend Andre Galvao raised countless eyebrows in 2021 for demanding one million dollars to fight Ryan at the ADCC world championships. This is also not Ryan’s first contract to make headlines, as the Jersey native infamously signed a five-fight, six-figure deal with the now-defuct Third Coast Grappling promotion in 2020.
Neither Flo or Ryan have commented on any exclusivity within the contract, which could clash with Ryan’s future appearances at UFC Fight Pass events or under other grappling promotions. “I don’t have to teach a single private, a single seminar. I don’t have to run a school or teach any instructionals. I can get wealthy now just from being an athlete,” Ryan wrote.
Despite the capital at play, Ryan was quick to compare his contract to his other revenue streams. “And for those wondering, competitions this year [won’t] make me nearly as much (less than half) of my instructional sales,” Ryan claimed.
Ryan expressed hopes to exceed seven-figures in earnings by the end of 2023 off of competition alone.