On Monday, September 4, 2023, Conor McGregor achieved his goal of becoming a black belt.
The former UFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion and SBG Ireland representative, Conor McGregor received the auspicious black belt from his coach John Raymond Kavanagh. McGregor has been training mixed martial arts for over a decade. He has been one of the most revered martial artists for his exceptional striking abilities. His equally majestic presence and sharp skills on the mat have now earned him the most-coveted BJJ rank, the black belt.
Though McGregor rarely relied on his BJJ skills in the octagon, he continued to train BJJ extensively throughout his MMA career. His grappling skills gave him an advantage over MMA fighters who didn’t practice BJJ. In addition, it helped him cope against fighters who were BJJ champions but later transitioned to UFC. His takedown defense training and submission defense training helped him emerge a winner whenever a match turned into a ground-based fight in the octagon. McGregor received praise for his grappling skills from BJJ stars such as Gordon Ryan and Gilbert Burns, both well-known fighters in the BJJ world. Ryan was also quite happy about McGregor’s black belt promotion.
After the promotion, Conor McGregor took to his official Instagram account to share his black belt moment with fans, citing that it took him about two decades to achieve his goal. His post is provided below for ready reference:
“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! A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, wow! Praise be to God and then Helio. I’ll be in the Gi in it tomorrow Helio, I promise, and I cannot wait! What a buzz.”
He also thanked his head coach, John Kavanagh, in the following words:
“Thank you John, means the world!”
After this commendable achievement, fans can only hope that McGregor will return to competitions. He has been away since 2021, after breaking his leg in a fight against Dustin Poirier.
Photo Credit: @thenotoriousmma