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Midnight Mania! Conor McGregor awarded jiu-jitsu black belt: ‘20 years of hard work!’

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Black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu do not come easily.

Though there are rare cases of exceptionally quick promotions and lots of more drawn out journeys, it takes the average grappler anywhere between eight and 12 years to earn a black belt. It’s not solely length of time, however. Ideally, consistency, overall skill, and improvement are to be taken into consideration, as well as potential competition experience.

MMA fighters, forced to train in the many disciplines and often without the gi, typically either take a rather long time to score the rank or are promoted with controversial speed. Former UFC double champion Conor McGregor is part of the former group, having earned his promotion to black belt earlier on Monday evening (Sept. 4, 2023) from longtime coach John Kavanagh.

“Received my black belt tonight from my coach, friend, and mentor, @coach_kavanagh of @sbgireland!” McGregor wrote on Instagram. “20 years of hard work! Thank you John for everything over the years, and to all of my team mates throughout this incredible jiu jitsu journey! Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart! A Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, wow! Praise be to God and then Helio [Gracie]. I’ll be in the Gi in it tomorrow Helio, I promise, and I cannot wait!! What a buzz”

It’s unclear whether McGregor’s other longtime jiu-jitsu training partner and coach, Dillon Danis, also attended. At any rate, McGregor’s history of submission losses — four in six defeats — has already been brought up by more than one internet hater. Some context, of course, takes apart those attacks, seeing as only Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov have tapped McGregor in the last decade.

Getting submitted after getting stunned by punches? It happens, even to black belt world champions. As for Khabib, well ... it’s Khabib! If out-grappling “The Eagle” was the standard for a black belt, there would only be a handful at the rank south of 200 pounds. For the best UFC display of McGregor’s grappling prowess, he actually dominated a young Max Holloway from top position and showed impressive guard passing after injuring his own knee early in their 2013 contest.

Congratulations to “The Notorious” on a considerable accomplishment.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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