Famed-BJJ innovator Eddie Bravo has bestowed a tremendous honour upon his pupil Tony Ferguson following his UFC 216 win over Kevin Lee.
Eddie Bravo is one of the grappling circuit’s most unique personalities. Known mainly for his work at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, his background in submission grappling and, of course, his kooky appearances alongside Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, Bravo’s influence on the world of martial arts cannot be understated at this stage.
His most famous moment as a grappler, came at ADCC 2003, where, when facing off against the heavily favoured four-time world champion Royler Gracie, Bravo managed to pull off the unthinkable, submitting his opponent in front of his homecrowd in Brazil.
With that, Bravo – who was then a brown-belt – earned his black-belt from his mentor, the legendary Jean-Jacques Machado and started his own journey as an innovator of the grappling game. Of course, Eddie’s most famous offerings came in the form of the Twister and the Rubber Guard, two techniques that are still widely taught and applied in MMA today.
His grappling school, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, focuses on the application of BJJ techniques to mixed martial arts and while the likes of Kelvin Gastelum, Aaron Pico and even Joe Rogan have trained under Bravo, there is perhaps no greater example of his teachings in action today than the UFC’s interim-lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson, who after defeating Kevin Lee at UFC 216 earlier this month, was award his black-belt in 10th Planet jiu-jitsu by the man who created it himself.
What was so special about that you ask? Well, as the caption states, Eddie earned his own black-belt following his aforementioned win over Royler Gracie back in 2003, and in doing so, was given the black-belt of his master, Jean-Jacques Machado – something that was undoubtedly incredible honour in what was already a massively formative time for the younger Bravo.
In giving that very same belt to Tony Ferguson, Eddie has proven the faith he has in his star-pupil and with it now looking increasingly likely that he will face off against the undisputed 155lb champ Conor McGregor in his next fight, his confidence will no doubt be at an all-time high as he edges closer to what could well be the toughest test of his career to date.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena