Keenan Cornelius continued his bid to be considered the best competition grappler in the world Saturday by winning gold in the absolute division of the IBJJF Nogi Pan Ams.
In an Instagram post, Keenan thanked in particular John Danaher and Gordon Ryan, whom he has been spending more time training with since he left Team Atos earlier this year.
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If you can’t be pretty, be gritty. Big thanks to @gordonlovesjiujitsu and @danaherjohn for the techniques and coaching. I also wasn’t going to do the absolute after a disappointing division result but Gordon and @heysonnyy yelled at me and made me. Thanks guys. And thank you to my gi and no gi sponsor @hyperfly and the cbd bros at @timeless_cbd photo by @Jiujitsuphotography
Keenan has had high praise for the team at the Renzo Gracie academy, saying earlier this month about Danaher’s Team:
“While over here at the blue basement. I’ve been really focusing on finishing mechanics. [John Danaher] has discovered a multitude of techniques that are off the traditional teaching approach that I believe really improve the functionality of no gi Jiujitsu by a large margin. To the point that if you aren’t incorporating his systems you will get left behind in the coming years. That’s why I’m here. Investing in my own learning to adapt to the changes of what I once thought was a resolute understanding of the game. make sure to check out johns dvd instructional series which is basically going to become the text book of no gi Jiujitsu in the coming years. I’m not joking he’s legitimately a genius that has decided to focus his brain on this sport.”
Keenan has recently been firmly associated with the gi side of the sport, pioneering his lapel guard system and employing it at IBJJF Worlds. But his skill in nogi grappling has always been top level, as he has fought, and beaten, some of the best in the world in nogi.
Keenan’s final match in absolute was against Felipe Silva. An exciting battle saw Keenan attempt a Darce Choke and a rare “Diesel Squeeze” submission. On both attempts, Silva was judged by the officials to be attempting to leave the mat area to escape a submission and ultimately disqualified.
Keenan is set to compete at ADCC in under three weeks, in one of the most talent rich tournaments of our generation. Grappling Insider will have live coverage of the event.