MMA fighter Jon Jones has cemented his status as one of the greatest to ever do it, having submitted Cyril Gane with a Guillotine Choke at UFC 285.
However, some may be surprised to hear that Jon Jones is still a BJJ purple belt.
So, when will he be promoted to the brown belt rank, especially given his success(es) in the octagon?
Well, his coach Roberto Tussa believes that Jones trusts him and the entire process.
Here’s what Tussa had to say in a recent interview (as translated by BJJ Doc):
I think he trusts my work and the questions I bring to him, which is the understanding of Jiu-Jitsu itself. In a philosophical way.
Let’s say, using the lessons of Jiu-Jitsu in life, not only MMA, but in his personal life as well.
And I believe that Jiu Jitsu has been influencing him. That Jiu-Jitsu makes him humble, daily.
And, even though Jon Jones is a professional MMA fighter, Tussa still wants him training in the gi:
There is a certain modification in this graduation. A certain consideration since they don’t have the time.
They don’t have a certain interest in working so much in a Gi, but I need them to have a knowledge of modern Jiu-Jitsu, which is coming.
Lapel sweeps, using lapels, using the Gi itself, where to make the grips, the language of Jiu-Jitsu, the philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu itself.
As to when will Jones get to brown and black belt in BJJ, Tussa has strict criteria:
“I believe that our way of promoting our students here in Gracie Barra is based on the federation, on the CBJJ.”
“I was raised by this, my Jiu Jitsu was made in Gracie Barra. So we always followed the rules of the federation. And the federation graduation framework, which recommends that you train twice a week, at least in a kimono, so you can progress in the ranks. Something that MMA pros don’t do, there’s no time for them to do it..”
Jon “Bones” Jones is former college wrestler. His ground game comprises of wrestling by having spent his college years wrestling for the Iowa Central College wrestling team.
Jones has been training since early 2013 at Gracie Barra New Mexico under professor Roberto ‘Tussa’ Alencar. Like any former beginner, Jones wore the Jiu-Jitsu white belt.
In a past tweet by Jon Jones, he said:
“I’m excited to stop neglecting my weakness.” Truly, humility and the will to evolve and improve are the qualities of a world class fighter.
Before Gracie Barra New Mexico, Jones had been training under his team mate BJJ black belt Igor Araujo, who said about Jones in an interview with MMA.tv :
“Man, he’s really smart, he’s a quick learner, but to talk about Jiu-Jitsu you have to put a kimono on him, so he if he wears one, he’d be a white belt. But for MMA he has a good ground game, he has evolved a lot since we started training together. He really gives his whole best, and his ground game on MMA… He finished Bader, Shogun couldn’t sweep him, so he’s good on the ground.”
At the UFC 182 Post-Fight Press Conference Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones declared that he was going to start working toward his BJJ Black Belt.