Jon Jones ‘Aims for BJJ Black Belt’ but Coach Won’t Promote Him to Blue Belt yet

Jon Jones ‘Aims for BJJ Black Belt’ but Coach Won’t Promote Him to Blue Belt yet




UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” 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.


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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:



The practice of promoting big name MMA fighters in Jiu-Jitsu has generated – and still generates – much controversy. Xande Ribeiro, for example, did not mince words to criticize the instructors promoting students more for fame than for actual effort . Roberto ‘Tussa’ Alencar, however, does not follow the above line. Jiu-Jitsu teacher UFC champion Jon Jones , Tussa told TATAME why he still has not promoted ‘Bones’ to blue belt.


“He is done with moving from New York to Albuquerque. At the beginning, he would go to the academy only for class, but now it is different, he is staying longer. He already has transferred his daughters to our school. The transfer is complete. Everything has been resolved. I talked to the coaches and now he will start to work in the Gi, to get a promotion because white belt is not working, not for a champion (laughs), ”


“He has to get at least a blue belt. But he has to understand the principle of Jiu-Jitsu, has to understand the rules, philosophy, have to spend some time on it. I can not give the belt to him just because he’s Jon Jones. So about that classic photo where he’s a white belt, I said, ‘Jon Jones, I’ll tie the white belt on you there because you have never trained kimono. You are good enough to have submitted a BJJ black belt with guillotine and americana (Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort)  and everything, but that does not make you a black belt ‘. So I want him to work. It is a way to force him to put the Gi and train, just as my students do. I do not think that it’s fair for my students who work for one or two years to get a blue belt, and Jon Jones, only because it is a UFC star, gets the blue belt with no idea of ​​philosophy, not knowing who is his and my master and all. That’s how I think and he respected that a lot, ”


Tussa says that Jones likes to train Jiu-Jitsu, but explains that his busy schedule hampers his training routine:


“When he learns something new, he likes to try to apply it. Go for a heel hooks, some triangles and stuff. Jon Jones trains Jiu-Jitsu once or twice a week, when it is possible. His schedule is very busy. He has plenty to do. So when he has some time there, he calls me.”