Former UFC middleweight and welterweight competitor Nick Catone has just been promoted to third degree BJJ black belt by his Jiu-Jitsu coach and training partner Ricardo Almeida. Catone has been retired from professional MMA competition for almost a decade now, but he made a name for himself competing in the UFC between 2009 and 2014. He started out life as a wrestler and competed at a high level in the sport, all throughout high school and college. After his education was over, he found MMA and put together a perfect 6-0 professional record on the regional circuit before that earned him a contract in the biggest promotion in the world.
Catone ended up going 3-4 in the UFC before retiring abruptly in 2014, largely due to the series of injuries that he suffered during his career and the chronic back pain that he experienced. During his time in competition not only worked on his submission skills with Almeida, but he also shared his wealth of wrestling experience with the BJJ black belt in return. The pair have been working together for years now, and that is reflected in the BJJ rank that Catone has achieved until now. It was a pretty busy day for Almeida in fact, as he promoted Nick Catone to third degree BJJ black belt at the same time as awarding another UFC veteran, Corey Anderson, with his black belt as well.
Nick Catone announced the news that he had been promoted to third degree BJJ black belt in a recent post to his official Instagram account, and his coach Ricardo Almeida shared his thoughts on the promotion on Instagram too:
“Nick has been my longtime student and actually was my wrestling coach for the later part of my MMA career. An accomplished wrestler and MMA fighter who built the nicest MMA gym I have ever seen that wasn’t the UFC PI.”