15 Jiu-Jitsu Practitioners That Were Promoted Straight to Black Belt. Part 2


We continue to talk about the owners of the BJJ Black Belt.

  1. John Lewis

John Lewis was a Gene Lebell black belt who was promoted straight to BJJ Black Belt by Andres Pederneiras between EFC 1 and EFC 2.

  1. Kimo Leopoldo

UFC fighter from the early days, Kimo Leopoldo was promoted by Joe Moreira straight to BJJ black belt. Kimo lost to Royce Gracie by armlock at UFC 3 after giving him a very tough fight.

  1. Josh Barnett

UFC fighter and catch wrestler Josh Barnett was awarded a BJJ black belt from Erik Paulson without having ever worn a Gi!

  1. Rashad Evans

UFC fighter Rashad Evans received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Rolles Gracie before UFC 108. Rolles Gracie stated that even though Rashad has not trained in a Gi, that he considered him at ‘No Gi black belt level’.

  1. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is instrumental in the growth of Jiu-Jitsu on a local and worldwide level. He developed the plan of of having Jiu-Jitsu taught at all UAE schools. Although he was training Jiu-Jitsu on a regular basis, he was presented an honorary BJJ black belt by Carlos Santos.

  1. Kazushi Sakuraba

Japanese MMA legend Sakuraba trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the Gi under Cristiano. Saku was presented with an honorific BJJ black belt by Cristiano Marcello, which he humorously would confess in an interview that he never learned quite how to tie.

  1. Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris was promoted by Carlos Machado straight to black belt in BJJ. Norris kept training and now at 77 years old, he is a 3rd degree BJJ black belt.


See the previous part of the “15 Jiu-Jitsu Practitioners That Were Promoted Straight to Black Belt” here:

Part 1

Last modified: January 15, 2020

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