Rashad Evans was recently awarded his black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu by Rolles Gracie, the morning of his fight Against Thiago Silva. Lately he has received a lot of negative attention by fans, thinking that since he does not train in a GI or have a national rank in BJJ, that he pretty much bought his black belt from McDonalds. Rashad is a very hard worker; He is a D-1 wrestling pedigree, 4thdegree judo black belt, and Gracie black belt in BJJ. He does not train with a GI, but he is what I like to call a hybrid in the jiu jitsu game, like so many others; GSP, Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, and Nathan Marquardt. Even some institutions are pushing NO-GI trained fighters like; 10thplanet Jiu Jitsu, Next Gen, and a large Part of ATT. Also huge BJJ stars like Arona, and Monsoon gained their black belts from their performance in ADCC NO-GI competitions. Some people believe that having a GI is the only credible way to be known as a legit BJJ black belt, but I disagree. I still think you can be a master by putting in hard work, and Rashad Evans is a great example of work ethic in Mixed Martial arts. Hey, people don’t wear Gi’s in MMA anymore anyways.

Written By: Matthew Wheeler (Staff Writer)
Matthew is doing personal fundraiser to give to mercy corps. for the Haiti relief, please donate if you can.

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22 Responses

  1. mmasucka

    That is wicked… love the pic…we have not seen Rashad use his BJJ much, so we will not know whether the black belt was deserved?? Also great job getting a new writer bro!!

  2. Reverend Turk of MMA Gospel Radio

    There is no way he deserves a black belt in BJJ. A black belt in BJJ is only given by demonstrating the knowledge of the skills and one of those skills is the use of the gi.

    Now if Rolles was a Luta Livre instructor then the black belt to Rashad would not be a huge deal but this is not the case.

    Submission grappling is not the same as BJJ and as of this moment there are no belts in submission grappling although the IBJJF is beginiing to discuss doing just that

    • killjoy_

      I agree there really is no way his a traditional BJJ Black Belt and neither does Renzo.

      It was a recognition from Rolles that Rashad should compete in the highest categories of gi-less grappling competitions. In the Gi-less World Championships for example you cannot compete in the Blackbelt division no matter how long you’ve been grappling unless a certified instructor gives you a belt for that division. Can I say that Rashad has worked his way up in the correct belt order with a gi? Of course not and I don’t think as a pro fighter he will be doing gi tournaments anytime soon. I differentiate between gi and gi-less and apparently Rolles found him ready for the belt in gi-less. I don’t think you should give someone a belt in a locker room. Not sure if that was Rolles’ idea.

  3. mmaquick

    I guess you don’t think arona, who won brown belt gold in a gi comp. and earned his blackbelt in a no-gi tourney doesn’t deserve it either. maybe Nog, silva, and gsp who don’t do bjj in a gi deserve it either by your standards.

  4. Reverend Turk

    @ mmaquick:
    Arona earned his black belt in a comp but still had to demonstrate black belt use of the gi. Rashad has not.,

    Nog has done BJJ in a gi. Besides, these are not my standards as you put it. these are the standards for earning a black belt in jiu jitsu according to the IBJJF

    • killjoy_

      @MMAquick & @Reverend Turk
      I think the best thing would be to have two different belt types. The traditional BJJ Black Belt and then Some sort of hybrid belt.

  5. mmaquick

    I wouldn’t mind a hybrind no-gi belt the thing with the whole belt system is who to say who’s right and who’s wrong just because your last name is gracie doesn’t mean your the go to for all bjj belts

  6. mmaquick

    ok now that I read your article, I still disagree. Having a black belt in bjj has absolutly nothing to do with showing it in a fight. It’s personal choice not a requirement to go for a submission to end a fight. Have you seriously watched all of rashad evans fight tapes, and your going to say he never tried to improve position on the ground? I would be willing to bet, that if rashad evans rolled with 100 bjj blackbelts, maybe only the top 3 would be able to submitt him. I have seen world class bjj stars in the WEC get subbed by no names without a rank. Anything can happen in a fight, it’s personal choice to use your best attributtes or do whatever you want. I think if a gracie who has superior knowledge in the game hands you a black belt it’s for a reason. Who are you to say that he has never shown the talent to deserve it, are you watching him practice at your gym every day of the week?

  7. mmaquick

    other mma fighters were awarded there belts for fights, where they wern’t wearing gi’s it’s all up to the instructor. it’s like your giving people like eddie bravo no credit

  8. Reverend Turk

    No, Eddie Bravo gives out shirts because he knows his style is no-gi. That is different than a Gracie giving out a black belt. Like I said =, He is not a Luta Livre instructor.

    Yes, I have watched all of Rashad’s fights. His positioning on the ground is awful. He leaves way to much open space, not what a black belt would do.

    As for Diaz, your argument may hold a grain of salt had we never seen him sub anyone but that is not the case.

  9. Reverend Turk

    @ MMAquick:
    You listen to Joe Rogan to much. Bravo does not give out belts. It is a common term to say he is a purple belt under Bravo but in reality it is not the case.

    As for space, funny you say it is for GnP when he leaves all that space when transitioning as well. You can’t really tell me you believe that Rashad shows any signs of being a legit black belt

  10. Joe of Branded Baron

    I feel that you should be able to train with and without a gi. And it’s true, some guys are better with a gi and not as good without it and vice versa. You may be awarded a black belt, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good black belt. If he earned it and Rolles recognized it then he’s now a black belt and if he’s a judo black belt he has some knowledge with a gi. You’re all saying that the only way to become a black belt is through competition, not everyone likes to compete. But sure Rashad fights for a living, but maybe he doesn’t really care for the grappling tournaments. Some people like to test their skills and see how well they can do like GSP in this past’s Abu Dhabi. Some people are going to recognize him as a black belt and some aren’t. His job is to fight and not compete in the tournaments. If competes great, if he doesn’t big deal. It’s best to learn and practice both traditional and no gi.

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