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Nathalia Santoro aka Sonny as she’s known by on Instagram is a fitness model, bodybuilder and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt under John Danaher. Aside from all of this, she is probably most known in the BJJ community as Gordon Ryan‘s girlfriend. Santoro currently resides in Puerto Rico after moving from New Jersey with Gordon, Danaher and other key members of the Death Squad.
Thanks to her hilariously racy Instagram, where she’s been banned multiple times for inappropriate content, Nathalia’s popularity grew quickly in the Jiu-Jitsu comm. Here she also gives a candid look into the world of her and Gordon Ryan and their life off the mats, often praising him for his work ethic and his caring persona.
Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Santoro started her athletic career in the world of soccer before changing her interested to track and field. Eventually, she found her way to New York, where she pursued a career in bodybuilding and fitness modelling. Before her move into Jiu-Jitsu Nathalia competed in numerous Body Building competitions, winning a number of championships including Miss Brazil, Mr Fitness and Garota Fitness Sao Paulo.
Nathalia is also rumoured to be starting an OnlyFans page, which is currently under construction.
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Gordon Ryan’s Girlfriend
While living on the east coast, Nathalia found her way to Renzo Gracie HQ in Manhattan, and this is where she met her current partner. Gordon Ryan. Despite being 7 years his senior, the couple hit it off and have been together since 2016.
Santoro and Ryan have a long-running joke where they actually claim that they are in fact siblings and that she was adopted by Ryan’s parents in 2016. They regularly post on social media claiming that they are in fact sibling, despite their more physical relationship. Come on guys, you’re not really fooling anyone, are you…
Santoro can be seen with Ryan regularly, often travelling with him, being mat-side with him at competitions and being his demonstration partner in all of Ryan’s Jiu-Jitsu instructionals.
Gordon Ryan and the Death Squad’s Transformation
Since her relationship with Ryan, there has been a dramatic change in Gordon’s physical appearance. Thanks to her bodybuilding knowledge, it has seen Ryan go from a lightweight to competing at 88kg ADCC, regularly walking around much heavier than that. Gordon credits his transformation to the gruelling workouts Nathalia puts him through, often saying he’s unable to complete the punishment dealt out by his partner.
Santoro now focuses her bodybuilding on the newer generation of the Death Squad, most notably Gordon’s younger brother Nicky Ryan and their teammate Ethan Crelinstein.
Like her partner Ryan and other members of the Danaher Death Squad, Santoro has competed numerous times, all of them in NoGi Jiu-Jitsu, a preference to the death squad. She has competed on undercards on shows such as Kasai, Third Coast Grappling and Flo Grappling’s Who’s # 1.
You can find Nathalia on Instagram under her alias @heysonnyy2.