Cole Abate has just been promoted to black belt in BJJ by Guilherme Mendes on the mats immediately after he won a match. The match in question was the final of the brown belt lightweight division at the IBJJF Asian Championship 2023 and it marked the last time that Abate would ever step on the mats as a brown belt. It might seem like it was only yesterday that Abate earned his brown belt, and that’s because it only happened at the beginning of the year. Abate won gold in the IBJJF European Championship at purple belt in January and he was promoted to brown belt on the podium of that event.
In the past he wouldn’t have been eligible to be promoted again for a year after that under IBJJF rules, as they have strict mandatory minimum times for belt promotions. The rules were changed slightly for 2023 onward though, when the organization decided that all world champions at their respective belt levels would be able to bypass the mandatory minimum. It didn’t take long for Abate to meet this criteria of course, and it wasn’t surprising at all given that he’s one of the top competitors on the planet regardless of belt level.
Abate won the IBJJF world championship 2023 at brown belt and immediately became eligible for his final belt promotion, although he ended up spending a few more weeks at brown belt before receiving it. His promotion to BJJ black belt has come at the end of the IBJJF gi season, just in time for Cole Abate to gain access to the highest level of no gi competition. He became the youngest ADCC trials winner in history back in 2021 and without a guaranteed invite to ADCC 2024, he’ll likely be hitting the mats hard to prepare to win trials for the second time.
Cole Abate announced the news that he was promoted to BJJ black belt immediately after winning gold in the IBJJF Asian Championship 2023 in a recent post to his official Instagram account: