Jon Jones’ BJJ Coach Reveals Why He Hasn’t Promoted Him to Brown Belt Yet

Being one of the world’s most renowned MMA fighters on the UFC roster and finishing seven of his fights via submission, it is surprising that Jon Jones is only ranked at purple belt; but his coach has an answer for it. He recently claimed the number 1 spot on the UFC pound for pound rankings this week due to his guillotine submission win over Cyril Gane at UFC 285.

According to a Portuguese-language interview with Alencar, which was later translated on BJJ Doc, Gracie Barra’s federation guidelines concerning the balance between gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu might have something to do with it.

Why Jones Hasn’t Been Promoted to Brown Belt Yet

Jones has been training BJJ since early 2013 at Gracie Barra New Mexico under professor Roberto ‘Tussa’ Alencar, and was promoted to purple belt back in December 2019. When it comes to why Jones hasn’t been promoted, Alencar believes that Jones trusts him and his entire process. Here’s what Tussa had to say in a recent interview:

“I think he trusts my work and the questions I bring to him, which is the understanding of Jiu-Jitsu itself. In a philosophical way. Let’s say, using the lessons of Jiu-Jitsu in life, not only MMA, but in his personal life as well.”

Furthermore he confirms that the main reason Jones hasn’t been promoted is because Alencar wants him to train more in the Gi to abide by the promotion criteria:

“I believe that our way of promoting our students here in Gracie Barra is based on the federation, on the CBJJ. I was raised by this. My Jiu Jitsu was made in Gracie Barra. So we always followed the rules of the federation. And the federation graduation framework, which recommends that you train twice a week, at least in a kimono, so you can progress in the ranks. Something that MMA pros don’t do, there’s no time for them to do it..”

Lucy Wynne

BJJ Purple Belt living in, London, England. I began training BJJ back in 2017, when I was at university, and have trained ever since. #OSS Instagram: @journowynne

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