Conor McGregor has revealed that he was awarded his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt by his long-time coach John Kavanagh yesterday.
“Received my black belt tonight from my coach, friend, and mentor, John Kavanagh of SBG Ireland,” McGregor said on Instagram. “20 years of hard work! Thank you John for everything over the years, and to all of my teammates throughout this incredible jiu-jitsu journey! Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart! A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, wow! Praise be to God and then Helio. I’ll be in the Gi in it tomorrow Helio, I promise, and I cannot wait!! What a buzz.”
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 5, 2023
McGregor is of course better known for his striking skills, which have led to 19 of his 22 career wins via either KO or TKO. On the other hand you’d have to go all the way back to 2012 to find the only time ‘The Notorious’ has won a fight by submission, securing a rear-naked choke finish against Dave Hill in the Cage Warriors promotion.
Meanwhile the 35-year-old McGregor has suffered four of his six career losses via submission, including in two of his biggest ever fights against Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
That last submission loss was back in 2018 though and that, together with the broken leg he suffered in his last TKO loss against Dustin Poirier in 2021, may well have spurred McGregor on to focus more on his BJJ ability.
At this stage it’s still unclear when McGregor will have a chance to show off both his striking and BJJ skills in the Octagon. Recent rumors had suggested that a fight with Michael Chandler could take place in December, but there’s been no official word on that and it seems there’s still a good chance it could be 2024 before he’s finally ready to return.