UFC Middleweight Champ Israel Adesanya Awarded BJJ Purple Belt

By Jay Pettry Dec 11, 2020

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A popular Ultimate Fighting Championship champ leveled up his grappling recently.

On Tuesday, an emotional Israel Adesanya (20-0) was awarded his Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt from highly acclaimed coach Andre Galvao. The former blue belt Adesanya sat down to roll with Galvao, the co-founder of Atos Jiu-Jitsu in San Diego, when Galvao surprised him behind his back with the belt advancement. Adesanya had been with the team for a five-week stint along with other City Kickboxing teammates, and he made a promise to the team that once per week, he will train in jiu-jitsu with a gi.

On his Instagram, Adesanya celebrated his accomplishment, writing:

I smoked with Snoop Dogg, I surfed [with] Kelly Slater, I rolled with Andre Galvao. This has been the highlight of my trip so far, being surprised with a purple belt by [Galvao]. Although initially I didn’t feel like I deserve this, I trust his judgment and feel I have earned this. In my short time here I’ve felt my jiu-jitsu level up. I love knocking people out, but it’s time to start tapping them out!”

Adesanya last competed in September at UFC 253, when he clobbered Paulo Costa in just under nine minutes to defend his throne. In the process, he became the first undefeated male UFC champ to stave off a fellow lossless foe in a title fight. With lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov currently retired, Adesanya has the highest unbeaten perfect record among all active UFC fighters. Scoring four knockouts since joining the UFC ranks, the middleweight king sports a career finish rate of 75 percent. He has yet to win a pro fight by submission.

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