Slowly but surely, competitive grappling is beginning to stake out its position in the world of combat sports.
It’s finding a place as promotions such as Polaris, Metamoris and Fight to Win Pro put on events featuring some of the best and brightest within the sport. As it continues to garner attention, there are some interesting personalities to watch and follow. Dillon Danis is one such competitor as he’s found himself in the limelight in recent months.
Danis is a name that may sound familiar to mixed martial arts fans due to his recent connections with UFC superstar, Conor McGregor. After McGregor was dispatched via submission by Nate Diaz at UFC 196, the Irish fighter turned to Danis to become his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach. Videos and pictures sprang up across social media showing the two training together before McGregor headed into his rematch against Diaz at UFC 202.
While that may be the first exposure that the MMA community had with Danis; he’s been a mainstay across competitive grappling for much longer. The Marcelo Garcia black belt is a multiple-time champion as he’s experienced success in events such as ADCC, No-Gi Worlds and the Pan Ams. In fact, this past weekend he walked out of the 2016 edition of the IBJJF No-Gi Pans with double golds in tow. He won some very tough matches including a 2-0 match against Murilo Santana for the gold in the medium heavy weight class and closing out the open class with Alliance teammate Jonathan Satava.
The New Jersey native also has crossover appeal to MMA fans and enthusiasts. After McGregor defeated Diaz, Nate turned his attention to Danis, calling him out as a traitor, which resulted in Danis offering to face the UFC fighter in an MMA bout.
"If he wants to do MMA, I'll fight him in MMA if he wants,” Danis said on the August 22 edition of The MMA Hour. “He can do a CM Punk with me and bring me into the UFC. He can be my first fight. I'll fight him in a couple months, whatever he wants to do."
If MMA is in the future for Dillon Danis he has a solid foundation to build upon. However, at this time he’s one of the top competitors in sport grappling and is a personality that fans should tune in to see compete.