The illustrious Eddie Bravo Invitational returns on April 24th, but this time it is different. Instead of EBI 6 airing solely on pay-per-view, the promotion has also signed a streaming deal with UFC Fight Pass and is set to feature one of the greatest openweight submission-only tournaments ever. In the weeks leading up to the event, Bloody Elbow will be giving you the low down on the strengths and background of each competitor. Let's kick off this edition with super-prospect Gordon Ryan.
Team: Renzo Gracie Academy
If you haven't heard about Gordon Ryan before, you are about to. My first exposure to Gordon Ryan came when a video was doing the rounds of him, a purple belt at the time, submitting black belts at a Pro Grappling League event in 2014. Since that impressive showing as a purple belt, Gordon has gone from strength to strength, and after a quick stint as a brown belt, which included a no-gi World Championship, Ryan was promoted to black belt late last year. Under the tutelage of Tonon, Danaher and DeBlass, Ryan has grown into one of the scariest young grapplers in the world and he has been on fire recently. Over the past few months, Ryan has scored some pretty impressive wins against Nathan Orchard and Enrico Cocco.
If all goes to plan Ryan will meet his mentor, Garry Tonon, in the semi-finals of the show, which would certainly be interesting. Ryan bares a lot of similarities to his coach, but he isn't a carbon copy of Tonon. While Ryan is a solid leglock player, he isn't quite as sharp as Tonon in that domain, but Ryan's gangly frame has seen him develop a stronger triangle game. Ryan has shocked people in every tournament that he has entered recently and while my head is telling me that EBI is coming along a little to early for Ryan, I have to admit that I wouldn't be surprised if he went far.
First round opponent: Jacen Flynn
Flynn is an old-school MMA pioneer and while he has impressed over the years, I feel this is Gordon Ryan's time to shine.
The Eddie Bravo Invitational 6 goes down at the Orpheum Theatre, in Los Angeles, CA on April 24 and will be available on pay-per-view on Dish and InDemand, as well as live on UFC Fight Pass.