Freshly crowned UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards has a whole new belt to add to his collection. Gracie Barra announced via a post published on the organization’s official Instagram account today that the MMA star has finally been promoted to the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
In a caption under a photo of the newly promoted Edwards, the post reads, “This long journey requires consistency and passion, mastering skills and techniques. Receiving a black belt is an unforgettable moment! We are very proud to have you representing the red shield. You are a true champion!!”
Professor Thomas Bracher, head coach and owner of Gracie Barra Sutton Coldfield, additionally posted a video of the promotion on his personal Instagram account. “Tonight, I’d like to make Leon my first ever black belt,” he announces on the recording, right before tying that long-awaited rank signifier around the waist of a clearly overjoyed Edwards.
On August 20, Edwards unseated previous welterweight king Kamaru Usman via knockout, in a display that stunned crowds at UFC 278. Moreover, prior to the knockout, Edwards showed off his grappling chops by breaking through the notoriously tough takedown defense of the Nigerian Nightmare.
In addition to taking his new seat atop the division, Edwards also now carries the distinction of being the first black belt out of Gracie Barra Sutton Coldfield.