Nick Rodriguez - The BJJ Black Belt Superstar

Nick Rodriguez - The BJJ Black Belt Superstar

1. Nick Rodriguez’s Details

Nick Rodriguez’s Details
Name Nicholas Pete Rodriguez
Nickname Nicky Rod, The Black Belt Slayer
Born Clayton, New Jersey, United States
Date of Birth August 30, 1996
Weight Division Ultra-heavyweight (100kgs / 222 lbs)
Last Weight-in 99KG
Height 6’3’’
Disclosed Career Earnings N/A
Rank Black Belt
Favorite Position Body Lock Pass, Blitz Pass
Head Coach John Danaher
University Ferrum College
Lineage N/A
Fighting out of Austin, Texas
Team Association B-Team
Instagram Logo

2. Nick Rodriguez’s Biography

Nick Rodriguez is a wrestler and a BJJ black belt athlete under John Danaher. He has also worked extensively with coach Jay Regalbuto. In Jiu-Jitsu, he is renowned as Nicky Rod or the Black Belt Slayer. He became famous after winning a silver IBJJF World Championship at Blue Belt. He is a 2x winner of the most challenging BJJ event, the ADCC World Championship. Rodriguez is an ultra-heavyweight fighter well known for his back attacks on opponents. Currently, Rodriguez is associated with B-Team.

2.1. Nick Rodriguez’s Childhood

Nicky Rodriguez was born on August 30, 1996, in Clayton, New Jersey, United States. He received his early education from the community public school, Clayton High School. He joined several sports teams along with wrestling in sixth grade. However, wrestling was something he was most interested in. In one of his interviews, he said:

“At the time it was the hardest thing I ever did. I got attracted to the independence. On the mat either you put the work in and won or you don’t and lose.”

After participating in wrestling tournaments in school, he ranked 7th in the state. He decided to apply for an athletic college scholarship. He eventually qualified for the NJSIAA championship.

2.2. Nick Rodriguez’s College Life

Nick enrolled in Ferrum College in Virginia and continued wrestling for one year. During his freshman year, he had a wrestling record of 34-4. After one year, he realized that education was not for him, so he left college and moved on to pursue his career in modeling. He worked with the Wilhelmina Models Agency. At the same time, he started training Jiu-Jitsu. He once shared the reason for joining Jiu-Jitsu.

“Honestly, I started jiu-jitsu just to get in better shape for modeling. But when I stepped back on the mat, I realized that I badly missed competing."

2.3. Nick Rodriguez’s Lower Rank Success

In 2018, Rodriguez’s friend convinced him to join Jiu-Jitsu. He began his training at Ricardo Almeida’s Gym under Jay Regalbuto. After training just for two weeks, he entered the Grappling Industries: WildWood Tournament, where he defeated all his opponents. Later, he joined Tom DeBlass’s Gym and continued his training. After a few months, he started training under John Danaher at Renzo Gracie Academy. Danaher promoted him to blue belt.

“I started at a Ricardo Almeida Association and beat everybody there. They then sent me off to Tom DeBlass’, beat everybody over there, then Renzo Gracie’s with Danaher, and now I’m trying to beat everybody here.”

In 2018, Nick Rodriguez competed in the IBJJF World Championship NoGi in the blue belt division. He beat all three opponents via submission and took the gold medal home. Regalbuto knew his student’s potential skills. He, therefore, wanted Rodriguez to train under multiple teams.

2.4. Nick Rodriguez Wins the ADCC

In 2019, Rodriguez worked under Danaher at Danaher’s Death Squad when he qualified for the world’s most challenging grappling tournament, the ADCC World Championship, after winning the ADCC North American Trials. He competed against top BJJ black belt athletes Mohmmad Aly, Robert Cyborg Abreu, and Orlando Sanchez and made his way into the finals, where he lost to Kanyan Duarte but won a silver medal. At the podium, Jay Regalbuto promoted him to purple belt. It was the day that he got his nickname, the Black Belt Slayer.

“I want to compete as much as possible. I’ll take any super fight against any belt. I want Combat EBI, Polaris, KASAI, and overall, I want ADCC. Give me a year and I’ll change this sport.”

2.5. The Discontinuation of Danaher Death Squad

In July 2021, Danaher announced that Danaher Death Squad is shutting down due to multiple factors. In August 2021, Rodriguez announced his new team, The B-Team, which he formed along with his DDS training partners Craig Jones, Nicky Ryan, and Ethan Crelinsten in Austin, Texas. In June 2022, Rodriguez’s training partners promoted him to brown belt. Shortly after, he was invited by the ADCC to compete in the 2022 tournament. Rodriguez competed in the ADCC Championship against the best grapplers, but in the finals, he lost to Gordan Ryan and won the silver medal.

2.6. Nick Rodriguez’s BJJ Black Belt Promotion

After five years of practicing Jiu-Jitsu, the professional elite wrestler and BJJ grappler, Nick Rodriguez was promoted to black belt on December 23, 2023, by his training partners Nicky Ryan, Craig Jones, and Ethan Crelinsten. This black belt was a massive achievement in his BJJ career. Rodriguez shared his achievement on Instagram.

‘Big Rod has now a officially a black belt’.

2.7. Nick Rodriguez’s Future Goals

On April 24, 2023, Nick Rodriguez shared that he was trying to be a part of the World Wrestling Entertainment and has been accepted. From the news he shared, he seems excited to make his transaction in WWE. He also mentioned that he has gained so much popularity through BJJ that everyone now knows who he is.

“Jiu-Jitsu has made me well-known because the second I pulled up to the tryout, there was a group of like 50/60 people, and everybody knew who I was. They were all just like professional or D1 athletes; even the producers knew who I was. It was pretty amazing to see that.”

At B-Team Training Academy, Jacob Rodriguez, his younger brother, is also getting trained under him, preparing him to become the next Nick Rodriguez.

3. Nick Rodriguez’s Historic Fights

3.1. Nick Rodriguez vs Robery Cyborg Abreu

In the 2019 ADCC World Championship, a grappling match was held between Nick Rodriguez and the 5th-degree black belt Jiu-jitsu fighter Robert Cyborg Abreu. Abreu began the match with his guard game; he pulled a close guard followed by a butterfly guard. Abreu tried his tactics to bring down his opponent but failed as Rodriguez was quite strong. Abreu started rolling and eventually threw Rodriguez on the mat, but Rodriguez trapped his opponent, performed some of his acrobatic stuff, and attacked Abbreu, winning the fight via Referee’s Decision.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2019 ADCC World Championship Robert Cyborg Abreu W Referee Decision SF 99KG

3.2. Nick Rodriguez vs Mohammad Aly

In the 2019 ADCC World Championship, Nick Rodriguez competed against one of the most successful heavyweight grapplers, Mohammad Aly. Both competitors were robust and tried hard for submission, but at the same time, they were using defensive strategies, so none of them got their hips down on the mats. With just a few seconds left for the fight to end, Rodriguez performed a flip, took down his opponent, and won the match.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2019 ADCC World Championship Mohammad Aly W Referee Decision R1 99KG

3.3. Nick Rodriguez vs Gordon Ryan

In the 2022 ADCC World Championship, the final match occurred between Nick Rodriguez and the three-time ADCC champion, Gordon Ryan. Ryan quite gently attempted a guard position and, with his knee pressure, held on to his opponent with his knee pressure. He submitted Rodriguez via outside heel hook and won the gold.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2022 ADCC World Championship Gordon Ryan L Outside Heel Hook F 99KG

4. Nick Rodriguez’s National and International Achievements

Year Event Belt Medal
2018 IBJJF World Championship NoGi Blue GoldGold Medal Icon
2018 ADCC US East Coast Trials Blue BronzeBronze Medal Icon
2019 ADCC US West Coast Trials Blue GoldGold Medal Icon
2019 ADCC World Championships Blue SilverSilver Medal Icon
2020 Kasai 7 HW Grand Prix Purple BronzeBronze Medal Icon
2020 KASAI Pro 7 Purple BronzeBronze Medal Icon
2021 Third Coast Grappling 6 Grand Prix Purple BronzeBronze Medal Icon
2022 ADCC World Championships Brown SilverSilver Medal Icon
2022 EBI 20: The Absolute Champion Brown GoldGold Medal Icon

5. Nick Rodriguez’s BJJ Professional Breakdown

59 matches 42 wins 13 losses
By points 15 2
By advantages 0 0
By submission 16 2
By decision 5 7
By penalties 1 0
By EBI/0T 5 2
4 Draws

5.1 Methods of Submission

Methods 16 Wins 2 Loss
RNC 6 0
Outside Heel Hook 1 1
Kimura 3 0
Triangle 1 0
Reverse Triangle 1 0
Inside Heel Hook 0 1
Verbal Tap 1 0
Submission 3 0

6. Nick Rodriguez’s BJJ Fight History

Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
Eric Silverman W Pts: 2x0 Grappling Industries: Wildwood 99KG N/A 2018
Chris Baldino W Submission Grappling Industries: Wildwood 99KG N/A 2018
Peter Mattoccia W Pts: 16x0 Grappling Industries: Wildwood 99KG N/A 2018
Nick Van Wattingen W Submission Grappling Industries: Wildwood 99KG N/A 2018
Gal Talem Goudsmit W Submission Grappling Industries: Wildwood ABS N/A 2018
Steven Tongur W Pts: 9x0 Grappling Industries: Wildwood ABS N/A 2018
Joe Baik W Pts: 12x0 Grappling Industries: Wildwood ABS N/A 2018
Dylan Rankin W Kimura 2018 RISE Submission Invitational 5 99KG N/A 2018
Dylan Rankin W Kimura ADCC EC Trials 99KG R1 2018
Bill Brown W RNC ADCC EC Trials 99KG 4F 2018
Hudson Taylor L Pts: 5x0 ADCC EC Trials 99KG SF 2018
Andrew Tevay W Pts: 2x0 ADCC EC Trials 99KG 3RD 2018
Michael Egley W Pts: 2x0 ADCC WC Trials 99KG R1 2019
Fernando Iraheta W Kimura ADCC WC Trials 99KG R2 2019
Jimmy Friedrich W Verbal tap ADCC WC Trials 99KG 4F 2019
Casey Hellenberg W Pts: 6x0 ADCC WC Trials 99KG SF 2019
John Hansen W RNC ADCC WC Trials 99KG F 2019
Joe Dierkhising W Pts: 2x0 Forged in Fire N/A SPF 2019
Q. Rosenzweig W RNC Sub Stars ABS SPF 2019
Ashley Amos W RNC Polaris 10 120KG SPF 2019
Mahamed Aly W Referee Decision ADCC 99KG R1 2019
Orlando Sanchez W Pts: 0x0, Pen ADCC 99KG 4F 2019
Roberto Abreu W Referee Decision ADCC 99KG SF 2019
Kaynan Duarte L Pts: 3x0 ADCC 99KG F 2019
Kaynan Duarte L Inside heel hook F2W 128 105KG SPF 2019
Victor Silverio W EBI/OT BJJ Fanatics ABS R1 2019
Lucas Barbosa L EBI/OT BJJ Fanatics ABS R2 2019
Luke Rockhold W Referee Decision Polaris 12 ABS SPF 2019
Victor Hugo L Referee Decision F2W 135 120KG SPF 2020
Vinny Magalhaes D --- Kasai Pro 7 120KG RR 2020
Roberto Abreu D --- Kasai Pro 7 120KG RR 2020
Bruno Bastos W Outside heel hook Kasai Pro 7 120KG RR 2020
Kyle Boehm W Pts: 2x0 Kasai Pro 7 120KG 3RD 2020
Roberto Jimenez L Referee Decision 3CG Kumite IV ABS 4F 2020
Yuri Simoes W Referee Decision WNO 7 99KG SPF 2021
Pedro Marinho W Referee Decision 3CG 6 Absolute ABS 4F 2021
Victor Hugo L Referee Decision 3CG 6 Absolute ABS SF 2021
Steve Mowry W RNC Fury Pro ABS SPF 2021
Elder Cruz L Referee Decision WNO 11 93KG SPF 2022
Sloan Climer L Referee Decision SUBVERSIV 7 ABS 4F 2022
Damon Ramos W Pts: 8x0 ADCC 99KG R1 2022
John Hansen W RNC ADCC 99KG 4F 2022
Felipe Pena W Pts: 3x0 ADCC 99KG SF 2022
Gordon Ryan L Outside heel hook ADCC 99KG F 2022
Andy Varela W Pts: 17x0 ADCC ABS 8F 2022
Yuri Simoes L Referee Decision ADCC ABS 4F 2022
Ezekiel Zurita W Reverse triangle EBI 20 ABS R1 2022
Luke Griffith W EBI/OT EBI 20 ABS 4F 2022
Austin Baker W Triangle EBI 20 ABS SF 2022
Kyle Boehm W EBI/OT EBI 20 ABS F 2022
Gordon Ryan L EBI/OT UFC FP Inv. ABS SPF 2022
Felipe Pena L Referee Decision WNO ABS SPF 2023
Roberto Jimenez W EBI/OT UFC FPI 4 ABS 4F 2023
Vagner Rocha W EBI/OT UFC FPI 4 ABS SF 2023
Dan Manasoiu W N/A UFC FPI 4 ABS F 2023
Philip Rowe W Points KBBA Inv. ABS SPF 2023
Owen Livesey D --- Quintet 4 ABS NA 2023
PJ Barch D --- Quintet 4 ABS NA 2023
Yuri Simoes W Pts: 3x0 UFC FPI 5 ABS SPF 2023

7. Nick Rodriguez’s Top Fights

Orlando Sanchez vs Nick Rodriguez - 2019 ADCC World Championships

FULL MATCH: Felipe Pena vs Nicky Rod - Tezos WNO: Pena vs Rodriguez Main Event

Nick Rodriguez vs John Hansen - 2022 ADCC World Championships

Nick Rodriguez vs Damon Ramos | 2022 ADCC World Championships

Photo credit: @nickyrod247

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