Is 2022 is the year people are fully done with Dillon Danis’s schtick?
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace was once a hot prospect in both grappling and mixed martial arts (MMA) worlds, but a serious knee injury and trolling online persona have left his reputation largely in tatters.
Initially, his claim to fame in the fighting world came via his proximity to Conor McGregor. Danis — a Marcelo Garcia-trained blackbelt with multiple IBJJF wins — was added to McGregor’s team in 2016 as “The Notorious” prepared to rematch Nate Diaz. As Danis helped McGregor with jiu-jitsu, McGregor “helped” Danis develop an obnoxious media personality that led to Garcia excommunicating his former star pupil.
In Oct. 2018, Khabib Nurmagomedov infamously jumped out of the Octagon after he beat McGregor to attack Danis. That peripheral inclusion in a historic moment further raised Danis’ profile and led YouTuber-turned boxer, Jake Paul, to start challenging Danis to a boxing match — partially because Danis’ striking is Ben Askren levels of terrible, and partially to draw McGregor’s attention (or at least the attention of McGregor fans).
the bad guy pic.twitter.com/6HK1KhZBda— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) November 7, 2021
But, knee issues kept a Paul vs. Danis fight from coming together, with Danis revealing after an LCL tear, “I don’t have an MCL or meniscus, so I’m just gonna have nothing in my knee.” Since then, deleted video footage off his social media showed Danis being able to wiggle his lower leg around under his kneecap with about an inch worth of give — not a good sign that the knee will ever be competition ready. The guy has been rocking a full leg cast from shin to groin for several months now, and there’s still no indication the injury is nearly healed.
And that makes this declaration from Danis on New Year’s Eve somewhat hollow:
if jake paul sleeps me i’ll retire forever— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) December 31, 2021
Unfortunately for Danis, Paul has moved on. Askren played the role of high profile grappler in an April 2021 fight, and then Jake fought former UFC Welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, twice to round out his year. Going back to fight Danis, who is now more than two years removed from active competition and reduced to cameo status in McGregor’s life, just doesn’t make sense.
Even Bellator MMA President, Scott Coker — one of the most patient men in combat sports — is getting sick of waiting for Danis to return to action. Danis signed with Bellator back in March 2017, but only managed one fight in 2018 and another in 2019.
“We would love to have Dillon back, but he’s gonna have to do his part too and if he can get to that point where he could fight at this level then let’s put him in,” Coker told MMA Junkie in a recent interview. “We’re here. We’re doing fights twice a month now so we’re gonna have opportunities to fight you. It’s just that are you ready and are you ready to step in? This is not easy. This is not an easy sport. This is something that’ll take a lot out of you and the time commitment, are you ready to do that.”
We’ll leave you with some thoughts from The MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani, who’s recent support of a Jake Paul tweet led Danis to get into his replies saying, “Ariel you’re a b—ch.’ As we learned in 2021, that won’t stand with the new “Heelwani.”
Guys if you think life sucks right now just think you could have begged for 3 years to fight an 0-0 YouTuber and 3 years later still not be popular enough or good enough to even be considered a worthy opponent for him. Imagine that.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 1, 2022
In other words, you could be @dillondanis.
“Hey guys if I lose to Jake I’ll retire.” Retire from what? Social media? You already don’t fight.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 1, 2022
What do you think, Maniacs? Does Dillon Danis even compete in 2022?