The Black Beast gets 1st stripe on blue belt

Long, long ago, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was the basis of MMA, but has been largely supplanted by wrestling. Still, nearly all top fighters study it to some degree. And top UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis recently got the first stripe on his blue belt.

“I’ve had the privilege to work with Derrick Lewis for his last two fights and am very proud of the progress he’s made and the effort he’s focused on improving his grappling,” wrote Renzo Gracie Houston coach Joe Murphy. “We’re just getting started! I have no doubt that this man is a future UFC heavyweight world champion.”






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A look at the current UFC champions reveals that Jiu-Jitsu remains important, even vital, and that Lewis’s belt is shared with current champs Israel Adesanya and Petr Yan.

Jiu-Jitsu rank of UFC champions:
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic – purple belt
Light Heavyweight: Vacant but was Jon Jones, a blue belt when he won the title  
Middleweight: Israel Adesanya – blue belt
Welterweight: Kamaru Usman  – black belt
Lightweight: Khabib Nurmagomedov  – “If Sambo was easy, it would be called Jiu-Jitsu”
Lightweight (interim): Justin Gaethje – white belt
Featherweight: Alexander Volkanovski – brown belt
Bantamweight: Petr Yan – blue belt 
Flyweight: Deiveson Figueiredo – black belt
Featherweight: Amanda Nunes – black belt
Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes – black belt
Flyweight: Valentina Shevchenko  – Master of Sport in Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Judo
Strawweight: Zhang Weili – purple belt

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