Brandon Moreno got his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back in 2021. He got it belt from Raul Arvizu, who coaches at the Entram Gym in Tijuana, Mexico.
According to his Instagram, he has gotten it after training jiu-jitsu for 15 years.
The “Babyfaced Assasin” was recently on The Pat McAfee Show to talk about future endeavors. While there, McAfee congratulated him on becoming a black belt. He also asked him about a hot topic — illegitimate bjj black belts.
The topic has been picking up steam in the MMA community thanks to comments coming from high profile stars including Khamzat Chimaev and Islam Makhachev.
“Allegedly there’s a conversation in the MMA world about fake black belts or something like that. Is that real?” asked McAfee.
“Definitely the fake black belts exist, for sure. But it’s not a real problem,” Moreno responded.
However, he said that it all depends on how strict your coach is. He said that some hand you the belt pretty easily, while others take a lot longer if they feel that you’re not worthy yet.
“Every single Jiu-Jitsu coach has a different standard of how much you need to know and how much the level needs to be to give you the black belt.”
“Some coaches give you the black belt very easily, and other coaches give you a black belt with a lot of hard work. So it is always depending on the standard of the coach.”
What makes a BJJ black belt illegitimate?
The discussion about black belts in BJJ is a controversial one. Because of the poor regulation of the sport, anyone can become a black belt. BJJ’s largest organization is a for-profit federation that’s more preoccupied with making money than improving the sport.
To boot, due to lack of standardized criteria across the board, some BJJ instructors use promotions as a marketing tool, to generate buzz on social media and increase sign ups.
The so called ‘fake black belt hunters’
Khamzat Chimaev’s BJJ coach is an established name in BJJ community, Alan Finfou.
Alan Finfou has said that he’s “making Khamzat expose all the fake black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that are in the MMA scenario.” And went on to compare the process of getting promoted to McDonalds.
Meanwhile Islam Makhachev shaded Gaethje and Poirier over their respective submission losses.
“And we have to cancel many black belts [because] they make Jiu-Jitsu look bad. Because a lot of guys have black belt but I don’t know [if they have the skills].”
Volkanovski’s BJJ cornerman, Craig Jones, also agrees with the estimate as per calfkicker:
“I honestly agree with what Makhachev says, a lot of people deserve to have that black belt taken away.”
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– Editorial staff of BJJDOC