Despite having no competitive experience in mixed martial arts, Marcelo Garcia black belt Dillon Danis has signed with Bellator MMA.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports broke the news of Danis’ signing on Monday.
Danis, who won double gold at the IBJJF No-Gi Pan Ams in 2016, before closing out the year with a pair of wins over highly-regarded foes Jackson Sousa and AJ Agazarm in submission grappling super-fights, also became well known to MMA fans during the last 12 months or so.
The New Jersey native became a training partner to then UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor in the spring/early summer of last year, shortly after the Irishman had suffered a second-round submission defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. Danis subsequently became an important, very visible and often vocal member of ‘The Notorious’ one’s team.
The talented grappler’s antics on social media and the frequent barbs he tossed towards MMA stars, such as former UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones, garnered him yet further attention.
During this time, Danis also made it known that he intended on making the transition to MMA sooner rather than later.
However, though he has now signed a contract with one of the sport’s biggest promotions, we still don’t know exactly when the 23-year-old will make his first foray into mixed combat.
According to Iole, though, Danis expects to see action towards the end of the year and, although he plans to one day drop to lightweight, his debut is likely to take place at 170lbs.