Matt Lindland is a UFC legend with dozens of professional fights against some of the best Middleweights on the planet at the time and now he’s just been promoted to BJJ black belt by Renzo Gracie too. Lindland fought for several different promotions in his time like Strikeforce, Affliction, and KSW, but spent the prime period of his career putting together a twelve-fight run in the UFC. The peak of which came when he fought Murilo Bustamante for the UFC Middleweight world championship and came up just a little short when he was submitted in the third round with a guillotine choke.
Most fans will remember Lindland for putting on a number of phenomenal performances in the Middleweight division including wins over some of the best in the division like Pat Miletich, Phil Baroni, and Carlos Newton. What many people overlook however, is two fights in particular where Lindland actually moved up in weight to face gigantic challenges as the smaller man. In 2006, Lindland took on Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson during the best run of his career just a little under a year before he won the UFC Light-Heavyweight championship, and in 2007 he faced off with the greatest Heavyweight of all time, Fedor Emelianenko, at the very height of his powers.
Given his illustrious career and handful of submission wins, it might be surprising to learn that Lindland was never a BJJ black belt at the time, but that has all changed now. He joins the growing list of black belts under Renzo, almost all of whom have gone on to do great things in either BJJ or MMA circles. Renzo Gracie announced the news of the BJJ black belt awarded to Matt Lindland in a post to his official Instagram account, and Lindland himself soon followed it up with one of his own: