In a remarkable milestone for the world-renowned UFC star, Conor McGregor, he was honored with the prestigious Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt by his dedicated coach, John Kavanaugh. This significant achievement comes after over a decade of relentless training in the realm of mixed martial arts. While McGregor is celebrated for his explosive striking prowess and charismatic persona, it’s his exceptional skills on the mat that have now earned him this illustrious black belt.
Conor McGregor’s Latest Triumph
Conor McGregor, a former two-division UFC champion, can now proudly add another accolade to his growing list of remarkable accomplishments. The pinnacle of his journey in Brazilian jiu-jitsu was reached as he received his black belt from his long-time mentor and head coach, John Kavanagh.
McGregor shared his joy and gratitude on social media, stating, “Received my black belt tonight from my coach, friend, and mentor, John Kavanagh of SBG Ireland. 20 years of hard work! Thank you, John, for everything over the years, and to all of my teammates throughout this incredible jiu-jitsu journey! Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart!”
He expressed his excitement about the black belt, saying, “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.”
A Legacy of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Excellence
John Kavanagh’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu lineage traces back to the legendary Helio Gracie, passing through a distinguished line of coaches before ultimately being conferred upon Kavanagh himself in 2007 by Matt Thornton. At the time, Kavanagh became the first recipient of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the Republic of Ireland.
Kavanagh’s Straight Blast Gym (SBG) in Oregon played a pivotal role in his journey, eventually leading to the establishment of his affiliate school. This school has been Conor McGregor’s primary training base since before his UFC debut.
Resounding Praise for McGregor’s Achievement
Conor McGregor’s black belt achievement garnered widespread praise and recognition, including commendations from leading figures in the grappling world. Gordon Ryan hailed as one of the world’s top grapplers across all weight classes, acknowledged McGregor’s ground skills, stating, “Well deserved…you’re pretty exceptional on the ground, especially with MMA being your main focus.”
Dillon Danis, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and McGregor’s training partner, also expressed his admiration for McGregor’s prowess. He remarked, “McGregor’s Jiu-Jitsu is Amazing.”
McGregor’s Road to UFC Comeback
Currently recuperating from a leg injury sustained in his previous bout against Dustin Poirier in 2021, McGregor has been diligently preparing for his anticipated return to the UFC. His first fight back, expected to be against Michael Chandler, remains unofficial but is eagerly awaited by fans. While a specific date has not been confirmed, it is increasingly likely that McGregor’s comeback will take place in 2024.
Embracing Jiu-Jitsu and Homecoming
Conor McGregor’s black belt promotion took place at the SBG Ireland gym, symbolizing his deep connection to the sport and his coaching team. McGregor has been actively training in preparation for his upcoming fight and recently sparred with rising Irish UFC prospect Ian Garry in Dublin.
During his time in Ireland, McGregor also participated in a jiu-jitsu class led by his long-time coach, John Kavanagh. The session culminated in Kavanagh awarding the 35-year-old fighter his well-deserved black belt.
Kavanagh shared his thoughts on McGregor’s dedication, saying, “It’s not normal to give out a belt during the no-gi class, but nothing about this man’s career or life has been normal.” He emphasized McGregor’s unwavering passion and interest in martial arts, both professionally and in his day-to-day interactions with fellow athletes.
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McGregor expressed his gratitude and emotional attachment to the moment, remarking, “It’s deeper when you get a black belt off John. There’s not many black belts off Coach Kavanagh. It means the world.”
As he embarks on his journey to a UFC comeback, Conor McGregor’s black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu stands as a testament to his dedication, skill, and enduring commitment to the sport that has defined his life.
In a nostalgic nod to his aspirations from the past, McGregor reposted a tweet from November 2013: “I just want two gold belts, a jiu-jitsu black belt, a hall of fame plaque, and 25 million in the bank. Is that too much to ask? Gym time!!” It seems that McGregor’s remarkable journey continues to move steadily towards fulfilling those aspirations.
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Discover McGregor’s Jiu-Jitsu Journey
For those eager to witness Conor McGregor’s impressive Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills in action, several of his jiu-jitsu tournaments and training sessions can be found on YouTube. McGregor’s evolution as a jiu-jitsu practitioner is a testament to his dedication and growth in the sport.