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Ryan McCarthy (also known as Ryan "The Terror") is a vicious, merciless and young fighter with terrific mixed martial arts skills. He is the main antagonist turned anti-hero of the 2008 romantic sports action MMA drama film Never Back Down.

He was portrayed by Cam Gigandet who also portrayed James in Twilight that was released on the same year (2008).


He first used his girlfriend Baja Miller to get newcomer Jake Tyler (who has a reputation for being a quick tempered brawler after an internet video of him starting a fight circulates around opposing football players at his new school) to go to a party where he is unwillingly pulled into a fight with Ryan originally, but Jake does not wish to fight until Ryan taunts him about his father who died while driving drunk with Jake in the car. Unsurprisingly, Jake is defeated in the fight and humiliated in front of everyone because his combat skills were not as good enough as Ryan's.

Jake starts training in MMA soon after Baja then confronts Ryan about the fight with Jake and proceeds to end their relationship Ryan begins to create a scene before the entire school but Jake steps in to defend Baja.

After Ryan insults him again while bullying. And he confronts and attacks Jake in the school bathroom and leaves.

Jake gets into a brawl with a group of 3 annoyingly rude men driving a Hummer whom Jake easily disposes of while Max (Jake's new best friend) films the fight. This video went viral and circulates around the school raising Jake's social status but agitating Ryan in the process. Ryan then proceeds to challenge Jake to compete in the Beatdown, an underground fighting tournament of which Ryan is the reigning champion but Jake decids not to compete.

Ryan invites Max to hang out at his house; there he begins to spar with Max before brutally assaulting him and leaving him at Jake's door. Jake and Baja takes Max to the hospital and Jake decides to fight, not for revenge, but to stop someone like Ryan from hurting another innocent stranger again.

After a mix-up where Jake and Ryan almost fight in the first round, they both proceed to make their way through each leg. After learning that Ryan was disqualified in his semifinal match, Jake forfeits, seeing no reason to continue. While he and Baja attempt to leave, Ryan confronts him and the two finally fight outside in the parking lot. Ryan at first gains the upper hand, applying a choke on Jake. However Jake escapes and, with the entire crowd watching, knocks out Ryan using one of the first combinations taught him.

After defeating him, Jake earns the respect of everyone, including Ryan.


Ryan is described as a total megalomaniacal, psychopathic person who embraced getting love and fanning from other people and said by Max that he became a psycho by inspiration of his billionaire father. Eventually, after his ultimate defeat, Ryan left his psychotic personality and became an anti-hero that respects every single person including the young man who defeated, Jake Tyler, whom he enjoyed of fighting and abusing.