Reigning UFC Featherweight world champion Alexander Volkanovski has just earned his final belt promotion in BJJ as he was awarded with his black belt by his coach, Joe Lopez at Freestyle MMA. It might be surprising to hear that Volkanovski has not already earned his black belt given his phenomenal grappling skill but after displaying his elite-level submission defense in his recent fight with Brian Ortega, he definitely earned it then. Although Volkanovski has predominantly been a striker during his 23-1 professional MMA career, he has managed to register a handful of submission wins and has proven himself more than capable of keeping up with some of the best grapplers in the Featherweight division.
It certainly helped that Volkanovski was able to spend a huge amount of time training with and learning from Craig Jones during the lead-up to the fight, as he served as his grappling coach for season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter. Volkanovski has not quite managed to ascend to UFC Hall of Fame status just yet but he’s definitely well on his way after taking the Featherweight title from Max Holloway and beating him in the rematch just prior to his incredible performance against Brian Ortega. He may well get a huge opportunity to add to his legacy relatively soon as retired double champion Henry Cejudo has mentioned moving up to Featherweight to challenge for a third title against him.
Considering Cejudo is an olympic champion wrestler, Volkanovski will need every ounce of grappling skill that he’s developed over the years in order to win any ground exchanges between the pair. Although there’s no news on whether the fight will be made as yet, it’s definitely one that fans around the world would be eager to see come to fruition.
The news of Alexander Volkanovski getting promoted to black belt in BJJ was announced in a post to the official Instagram account for Freestyle MMA, along with news of the other of their first two black belt promotions being given Blake Stage: