UFC standouts Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes achieved a high point in their martial arts careers this week. Both fighters had their Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt status upgraded by longtime coach Ricardo Almeida.
Former UFC lightweight champ Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) and former WSOF bantamweight titleholder Moraes (20-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) are teammates and fight out of the same gym in New Jersey. They sharpen their grappling at the Almeida Jiu Jitsu Academy, and on Tuesday their many years of effort were rewarded with a belt promotion.
Edgar was granted the first degree on his black belt while Moraes got his black belt after six years as a brown belt. Both fighters shared the moment on social media (via Instagram):
“This morning was awesome today @rabjjacademy I received my first degree on my black belt by @ricardoalmeidabjj. Getting promoted along side my teammates is always special! Congrats to @ramazan_kuramagomedov_ @timurvaliev_df @tomdeblass on their promotions and huge congrats to @mmarlonmoraeson his black belt. #RABJJ #HomeTeam”
Coach Almeida also recognized the accomplishment by his students (via Instagram):
Edgar gets his promotion just one day after it was announced he will challenge champ Max Holloway for the UFC featherweight belt at UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas. “The Answer” was supposed to fight Holloway at UFC 218 in December, but he suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the title fight.
Moraes, on the other hand, is not currently booked for a fight. After dropping his UFC debut to Raphael Assuncao in June, “Magic” closed the year with wins over Aljamain Sterling and John Dodson.
For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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