A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most coveted goals in mixed martial arts, and generally takes around a decade of ferociously hard work. Three black belts were awarded this weekend, one posthumously, to Frankie Edgar, Myles Jury, and actor Paul Walker.
Former UFC lightweight champion and current featherweight Frankie “The Answer” Edgar received his BJJ black belt on Saturday from his instructor, Renzo Gracie protege Ricardo Almeida.
While Edgar has not won via submission since tapping Matt Veach in the TUF 10 Finale in 2009, BJJ shows in a fighter's style in many, many other ways. For example, Edgar has never been submitted.
He will be coaching opposite BJJ phenom BJ Penn on the 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter, with the pair fighting at the end. Expect BJJ to be on full display this season.
UFC lightweight Myles “Fury” Jury was awarded his black belt by Don Richard, who is in turn a black belt under Master Caique.
“I have been teaching martial arts and training fighters for over twelve years and training most of my life starting with wrestling at age seven," said Richard. "In those 32 years I’ve seen a great number of talented athletes, but there was one who stood out more than all the others. That one was Myles Jury. Myles was a stand out not because he was strong, not because he was a naturally gifted athlete, not for any physical reason. He stood out because he was eager to learn and he understood timing and technique will win over strength and athleticism.”
In the most unusual ceremony, deceased actor Paul Walker was awarded his black belt posthumously by Ricardo Franjinha Miller, owner of California's Paragon Bjj Academy and Ventura Paragon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“I know he will reach it one day,' said Miller. “So in his memory, I presented it to his Dad at his family memorial.