Desolate Warrior

Release Date: April 30, 2011
Written by: James Ryan

Non-Fiction – Sports – Biography – Gonzo Journalism

Original Interview on September 28, 2010: Will Ribeiro Cries For Help, Black House Turns Back on Injured Fighter

Looking back on Desolate Warrior, I guess you could say that I had a bit of trouble getting this one off of the ground for a couple of reasons. For starters, the truth sucks, and if anyone doesn’t give a shit about the truth, it’s sports fans. They literally just want to be entertained. I found their lack of compassion towards the athletes a little disheartening actually. Admittedly, I was unpleasantly surprised by it.

The second problem that I encountered was with the so-called “MMA Media”. Nothing but cowardly fanboys posing as real journalists just so they can hopefully get cagefront seating and the chance to interview their personal “heros”. The MMA world is crawling with these geeks and posers. The result was that I couldn’t get any of them to talk about my book. Not even to tell me how much they thought it sucked! They knew that what I had to say wasn’t good for the sport, but more than anything, they also knew that it was the God’s honest truth. So they just sat on the fence like a bunch of nothings.

Another challenge was that I self-published this book due to the urgency to get Will’s story told as quickly as possible. His character was being badly attacked by his former managers and his life was literally hanging in the balance. Time was definitely running out. The good news however, is that he’s now doing much better and he finally has the support that he needs. The book helped to make Will Ribeiro one of the most famous personalities in all of Brazil, and it also opened a few doors for him to keep working in the industry as a coach, a ringside judge, and as an ambassador for the disabled and poor. The book didn’t make either of us rich, but it certainly helped to raise a tremendous amount of awareness, particularly in the MMA community and in Brazil. As I recall, my very first article about Will resulted in over 50,000 reads just on Bleacher Report alone. It blew up! The word was spreading.

Also, just two days before the official release of the book, the UFC announced that ALL of their athletes would immediately (and conveniently) receive full-benefit coverage if they were to ever get injured outside of the Octogon – a gesture that I knew right away was nothing more than a lame PR stunt, but hey, it was a start. It showed more than anything that the UFC was starting to pay attention. No doubt they were getting worried about the fact that I had been interviewing some of the biggest names in the sport. Dana White even took to Twitter and called me “the only dickhead in all of Canada,” which I thought was pretty funny, especially coming from him.

Ultimately, I sacrificed my entire career as an up-and-coming sportswriter, and my entire network of fight industry friends (who in the end, didn’t want to damage their own relationship with the UFC given the fact that the UFC was a legitimate monopoly at the time – and still continues to be). Over the years, I’ve been published with over 20 different websites (mainly MMA), including the UFC, but after this book came out, I resigned from all of it, cold turkey. And I’ve never looked back.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. It is a bit of gonzo journalism after all.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, you can find it at

James Ryan

PS I should also mention that this book never would have happened if not for the help from so many other amazing people. There were over 40 different contributors that helped to make this book into a reality, not including the 3 different translators that I worked with, and I am forever grateful to each and every single one of them.

Read: Former Brazilian MMA Fighter Will Ribeiro honoured as Volunteer Coach

Special EXCLUSIVE interviews with:
Current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jonny “Bones” Jones
Black House MMA Manager, Ed Soares
Guinness World Record Holder and Martial Arts Expert, Dr. John Williams
UFC Vice-President of Community Relations and Former WEC President, Reed Harris
Shintani Wado Kai Karate Federation Instructor, Sensei Neil Prime
Toronto Brazilian Jui-Jitsu Instructor and MMA Fighter, Prof. Jorge Britto
MMA Fighter, Sam “the Rebel” Jones and his Trainer, Tami Carswell
Renowned UFC Brazilian Journalist, Denis Martins
American Muay Thai Trainer and As Shopped As It Gets, Scott “Iron Arm” Block
And of course, the brothers – Will Ribeiro and Wladimir Alves (pictured below)

Additional contributions by:
Former UFC Champion and Brazilian Jui-Jitsu Legend, Royce Gracie
Current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez
Brazilian UFC Fighter, Wanderlei Silva
Brazilian UFC Fighter, Vitor Belfort
New Zealand Fitness Professional and Motivational Guru, Jerry Sargeant
American Writer and Pain Expert, James F. Hill
Plus many, many more…



Reader Testimonials

“James, your writing has been a great gift, or incredible thorn in the side, for all who have had the chance to read it. I can’t imagine the amount of time, and the stress that this last project has put on you personally. Keep forging forward, my friend, and making your mark on the world.”—Chris G.

“I finished it late last night and I have to say—it is awesome! I love how it’s laid out. It has love, hate, betrayal, courage, and everything in a great book. It hits every human emotion, which is what a good book does.”—Kevin C.

“I just finished the book earlier today, and I must say I am truly disgusted. Perhaps I am naive and expect too much from people, but it has really shocked me with how many lies they were willing to give the author. This book is an eye opener to any MMA fan, and once you’re done reading it, take the time to think about just how many things in it you had not seen coming. Truly eye opening.” — John P.

“Well, I finally got my copy and I’ve been at it as hard as I could for the last week. I’m nearly finished. Only two more chapters to go, and I must say that this is one amazing story. The character of Will and his friends is simply put — OUTSTANDING!” — Blake

“I’m really enjoying this book, and I can’t put it down. I really have Will Ribeiro in my heart now. Excellent job Mr. Ryan.” — Debbie S.

“Will Ribeiro is the definition of a real fighter. Watching him walk again, really almost brought tears to my eyes. Ok, ok, I teared up, but that just means I’m human. Now that’s some inspiration! Keep it up, Will. You are one of my heroes, right up there with Jesus, Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan, and Mike Tyson.” — Matt B.

“I wish there were more MMA journalists and bloggers who had the balls to question the upper echelon of the MMA industry without fear of retaliation. It sickens me that not every MMA fan and fighter knows of the plight of Will Ribeiro.” — Dave E.

“It will open your eyes to the fight world. Will is a true warrior in every sense of the word. All the best to Will Ribeiro for bringing the plight of all handicapped people to light. My hero!!!” — Mary Lou R.

“You’ll never see the UFC the same way again.”—Paul D.

“This book is a masterpiece. I recommend it to everyone!”—Oliver F.

“This crazy Canadian guy I know wrote this book in an effort to help Will Ribeiro and his family after this MMA fighter was paralyzed in Brazil. I ask you to take a peek, and share it. Thank you. And thank you James Ryan for what you have done.” — Mark P.

“I just finished the book and I am very impressed with what James Ryan was able to accomplish. James heard of this story and didn’t just sit on it. He went out and told the story, and as a result, was able to help effect several positive changes. I can’t imagine the time and effort that it took to write this book. James should be proud of what he has accomplished. I guess only one question remains: What’s next?” — Marcus S.


  1. Shelly Morris-Mahan

    Dear James & Mr. Will Ribeiro,
    Greetings! It’s “Shelly Morris-Mahan” Do you remember me? Hint: I was simply writing Will (On FB) a short little “Good Morning Poem” and it ended up getting published in Desolate Warrior, an Inspirational Story by Will Rebeiro, By James Ryan. I became very ill and some of my most prized possession’s were lost/taken! I guess because of my Published Poetry & Signed Copy… Someone took something very precious and irreplaceable to me! James and Will could you arrange for me to get another signed copy of Desolate Warrior? I’ll pay, I don’t want a download version, it’s not the same! If you cannot honor my request, at least respond and let me know what’s new! I have some miracles of my own to share with you (Love you guys)!
    Thank You,
    Shelly R. Morris-Mahan

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