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Gordon Ryan reveals sickness, surgery that continue to delay his return to competition indefinitely


Gordon Ryan, who is widely considered the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu grappler in the world, was hospitalized recently with medical issues that required surgery, and he’s unsure when exactly he’ll be able to compete again.

According to Ryan, he came down with a severe case of strep throat after a trip to Abu Dhabi that landed him in the hospital for a lengthy stay. Doctors prescribed several rounds of antibiotics to try and knock back the infection but Ryan says his throat continued to swell shut.

In the end, Ryan revealed that he took different courses of antibiotics for 40 days before a treatment finally subdued the infection but then he had to undergo surgery for a tonsillectomy.

“Quick update for everyone who has been asking. I’m not sure when I’ll be competing again,” Gordon wrote on Instagram. “When I got back from my Abu Dhabi trip I came down with a severe case of strep throat which ended with me in the hospital because my throat swelled shut. Doctors also couldn’t figure out how to cure it since no one ever fails penicillin for a strep infection. In all, I did 7 days of amoxicillin and within a day my throat was back to square one. Then, I did 10 days of penicillin and within 2 days off I was in the hospital with my throat swollen shut. In the hospital, they gave me a shot of penicillin and another 10 days of penicillin, which i failed. Then I switched to 14 days of clindamycin, which worked.

“So all in I was on over 40 days of antibiotics straight plus a shot of penicillin. During this time I was contagious and everyone were in big camps so I couldn’t even go to training in fear I would infect them as well. In addition, my ears were in so much pain from my throat that I couldn’t elevate my heart rate at all without having them want to explode and getting a pounding headache.”

The health issues from the severe case of strep throat also exacerbated problems with his stomach, which started as a fungal growth in his small intestine that he described as feeling like “the worst hangover you’ve ever had.”

Apparently those problems flared up again while Ryan was undergoing treatment for his throat so that’s continuously kept him sidelined from training much less competing again.

“I’ve been completely inactive for a longer time than I ever have since I started training,” Ryan said. “As expected, my stomach has relapsed pretty bad and my nausea and lack of appetite have re-appeared, so I’ll need to deal with that, but first I’m headed into surgery today for a tonsillectomy and to fix my severely deviated septum.

“Just wanted to update everyone on what my competition schedule looks like. I’m hoping to be back in the next few months.”

Ryan last competed this past December in a match against short notice replacement opponent Nicky Rodriguez at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational in Las Vegas. He was scheduled to take on longtime rival Felipe Pena in February but the same health issues prevented Ryan from competing.

The myriad of medical problems plaguing Ryan came on the heels of the 27-year-old grappling sensation inking a multi-fight deal worth millions to join the FloGrappling Who’s Number One Series.

Unfortunately to date, Ryan hasn’t been able to compete there due to the medical problems that will keep him out of action indefinitely.

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