Garry Lee Tonon is one of the biggest names in grappling today. The BJJ black-belt has been making noise with his wins and for his tendency not to hold back when talking to and about opponents. On December 17, he achieved his latest triumph as he beat Kim Terra, brother to world champion Caio Terra, via guillotine. Soon after the win, the Danaher Death Squad member talked to Graciemag about his performance.
“Every match I go into I have two main goals: the first is to win, obviously. I think everybody, for the most part, has that goal,” he said. “The second is to be exciting… Obviously I achieved the win, but I also believe it was an exciting match. I thought there was a lot of exchange positions — you know, a lot of attacks in both directions, and I think he was trying to attack me as well. There were some leg attacks on his side and some guillotine attempts and same for me. I was moving into a bunch of different positions where I could attack my training partner or even wait for like some armbars off my kimura attempts. Honestly, as a competitor I think I did a very good job at competing in a professional setting where we kept the match exciting — wasn’t just trying to stay safe and, you know, win.”
A sparring partner of Gordon Ryan, another athlete who’s been getting a lot of attention in the same field, Tonon also analyzed his friend’s loss via rear naked choke to Felipe “Preguiça” Pena:
“Gordon Ryan vs. Felipe Pena had a lot of buildup leading up to this match, Gordon does a great job promoting, as I’m trying to learn how to do as well. I’m thinking he goes a step above even the kind of things that I do, but it was a, you know, isn’t a very exciting match; it was almost the exact opposite of what I saw in that match to what I saw in Nicky’s match. You know, where Nicky struggled through the most of his match and he was trying to fight out of bad positions, and eventually attacks, in the end I think for Gordon most of his match was pretty dominant, attacking style for the first 40 minutes. I think a couple times he got his guard passed but other than that I think most of the submission threats were coming from him and Philippe trying to sprint out of leg locks — he was definitely in danger a couple of times.
“Either way, Philippe made his way to Gordon’s back, and effectively it was very good. Gordon I don’t think was dilligent enough with the hand-fighting to make sure. His hand made it a little past the shoulder line, and this is something that we generally don’t accept in training, and as soon as I saw that I was a little fearful when the hand came behind; I was like, shit — this is very bad. And he got the submission, so, you know, there’s nothing else to be said other than, you know, I’m obviously very disappointed, and I’m sure that Gordon is as well.”