Nicky Rodriguez has just been promoted to BJJ black belt by his all three of his long-time training partners and fellow coaches at B-Team Jiu-Jitsu. He runs the gym alongside Craig Jones, Nicky Ryan, and Ethan Crelinsten; all of whom have already received their black belts in the sport from previous coaches. It’s a big moment in the career of any competitor but it’s not quite as much of a step up for someone like Rodriguez, who has been facing the best grapplers on the planet for many years already.
In fact Rodriguez has long had the nickname ‘The Black Belt Slayer’ as a result of his impressive performances as a colored belt, but it doesn’t quite have the same impact now that he’s a black belt himself. Rodriguez owns a pair of silver medals from ADCC 2019 and ADCC 2022, having earned both of them by beating top competitors in the over 99kg division. While his rise to the top of the sport has been incredible given the length of time that he’s spent training, Rodriguez is a phenomenal athlete and has an extensive background in wrestling as well.
Although a large part of his success initially came from his ability to adapt his wrestling experience to a submission grappling ruleset, he’s since developed a far more well-rounded game. Rodriguez has even flirted with the idea of making a transition to the WWE and fans are always eager to see him test himself in professional MMA too. Although he’s downplayed this possibility himself and it appears as though he’ll be sticking with Jiu-Jitsu for the foreseeable future. He’s still relatively early on in his competitive career though, and it’ll be interesting to see just how far Rodriguez can go in the coming years.
Nicky Rodriguez announced the news that he had been promoted to BJJ black belt in a recent post to his official Instagram account: