5 UFC Champions Who are Jiu-jitsu Black Belts

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is considered one of the most successful Mixed Martial promotions in the world. Various fighting disciplines such as Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are showcased which makes it stand out among other Martial Arts promotions. In this article, we will find out UFC Champions who are also Black belts in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and learn when is the perfect time to start training BJJ like your UFC idols.

BJ Penn

BJ “The Prodigy” Penn was born in Hawaii and first began training BJJ at 17. He relocated to San Jose, California to train under the tutelage of Ralph Gracie. He realized his passion for Martial Arts during this time and by the 2000’s he became the first non-Brazilian to win under the Black belt division of the most prestigious jiu Jitsu gi competition, the Worlds or simply Mundials. The UFC took notice of his success in jiu-jitsu and signed him up to fight in the Mixed Martial Arts events of UFC.

Via Sherdog

Mackenzie Dern

Mackenzie Dern’s experience in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is deeply rooted ever since she was a child. She started training jiu-jitsu martial arts with her father at the age of 3 years old and she began training at the adult level at age 14. She then competed at each level and dominated the black belt division at the 5 major gi events of the IBJJF Championships making her the only female black belt competitor to ever do so. In 2016, she steered from BJJ competitions to MMA  and had her UFC debut in 2018 where she won via unanimous decision.

Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira is a third-degree Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He started training at the age of 12 under Roger Coelho. He won his first major jiu-jitsu competition in 2003 at the Sāo Paulo State Championship. He currently competes in the lightweight division of UFC where he is a former lightweight Champion.

George St. Pierre

George St. Pierre trained BJJ at Renzo Gracie’s gym in New York to polish his grappling technique against BJ Penn for their bout at UFC 58. Renzo Gracie awarded St. Pierre with his brown belt in 2006 and in 2008 St. Pierre earned his black belt under Bruno Fernandes.

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva is a 3rd-degree BJJ Black Belt under Antonio Nogueira. He holds the record for the longest title reign in the UFC. From 2006 to 2012 he was able to defend his title 10 times and win UFC Middleweight Championship 17 times in a row. Aside from his BJJ Black belt, Silva is also a well-known striker, and an expert in Muay Thai and Taekwondo.

Via Sherdog

Ground fighting and submissions are a very vital part of training in Mixed Martial Arts. Having solid knowledge and skills in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has helped countless MMA fighters dominate their fights with confidence. If you are an avid fan of the sport, It is very accessible anywhere in the world to train jiu-jitsu. Gi and No-gi grappling has been gaining popularity over the years and will continue to do so as local and international competitions for all belt levels are available.

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