In the main event at Third Coast Grappling 3, ADCC champion and no gi specialist, Gordon Ryan, a.k.a The King, took on three time NCAA wrestling champion from Penn State University, Bo Nickal. The competitors battled in a fifteen minute match under a modified ruleset that prevented guard pulling and leg locks to even the playing field between BJJ and wrestling.
The highly anticipated match started out slowly but then ended in spectacular fashion. With the expectation that Nickal had the clear advantage from the standing position, Ryan came out with a series of well-executed scissor leg sweep attacks normally used for setting up leg lock submissions. However, in this case, Ryan was not attempting a leg lock, but was using the setup to simply bring Nickal to the mat. Ryan managed to connect with an attack and get Nickal down long enough to earn two points.
Soon after, the competitors found themselves back on their feet. This time Nickal managed to dodge the leg sweep attacks of Ryan and keep the action in the neutral position. Nickal, however, refused to engage with Ryan who tried multiple takedown attempts and aggressively sought to lock up with Nickal. After several minutes of little action, Nickal was issued a stalling warning. Growing frustrated with Nickal's refusal to engage, Ryan made his leg and back available to Nickal multiple times, taunting Nickal to take him down. Nickal initially refused, but with time winding down to around the three minute mark, Nickal took hold of Ryan after he voluntarily exposed his back, and threw him down hard to the mat with a spectacular freestyle wrestling takedown.
The match was now tied at two with time winding down. The modified rule format prevented Nickal from simply disengaging and so, to his credit, he fought Ryan on the ground. Even without leglocks, however, Nickal was simply outmatched. Ryan positioned himself quickly, threatening a shoulder trap sweep before transitioning to a triangle choke which he used to earn the submission victory against Nickal with approximately two minutes remaining.
The match was steamed live by Flo Grappling.
A huge amount of credit goes to both of these competitors for stepping up to the plate to compete in a modified format. Nickal deserves to be applauded for taking on a match that put him at a severe disadvantage. Although he was hesitant to engage at times, when he did, it was fun to watch and made for a great show.
Ryan did his part to credit Nickal at the end of the match as well. Ryan also stated that he would be willing to compete in a wrestling style match with points at a future. We hope that happens some day. We'd love to see it.
Let us know what you thought of the match by leaving a comment below.
Read our pre-match Gordon Ryan vs Bo Nickal Preview.