Dillon Danis – Master of Leg Submissions


Dillon Danis - FLO grappling match May 2017Dillon Danis - FLO grappling match May 2017

If you live and breathe Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you must have heard of Dillon Danis. He is a world class grappler who competes for the Alliance New York Academy.

He is definitively one of the most talented jiu-jitsu fighters with world-class results and achievements. The best fighters in Brazilian jiu-jitsu originate from Brazil, but this martial art becomes more and more popular in other parts of the world.

As the part of MMA, this amazing martial art fought its way and created many champions, like Nate Diaz, Royce Gracie, Minotauro Nogueira and many others.

Dillon is worldwide known as the main sparring partner of the UFC champion, Connor McGregor, for the UFC 202 event – “Diaz vs McGregor 2”.

Dillon Danis is the most perspective young bjj champion, a master of leg submissions who prepared connor mcgregor for the fight versus nate diaz? Keep reading!

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Like many fighters, Dillon Danis started competing at the early age. He was born on August 22th, 1993, in New Jersey, United States of America. He is a pure example a guy outside of Brazil can be a world-class jiu-jitsu expert and out grapple the best names in this sport.

At the age of 15, Dillon started training jiu-jitsu since he was bullied in school. After he pulled out of the choke, he realized he can improve his skills and joined Jaime Cruz Academy in New Jersey.

Despite he was a very weak teenager who couldn’t perform a single push-up, he has never lost his faith. His persistence leads him to the world-class achievements and he has become one of the legends of this sport very quickly.

He won BJJ belts under Jaime Cruz academy, but at the age of 17, he started adding trips to Marcelo Garcia Academy. Since wrestling was added to his fighting base, at the age of 19 he turned out to be a professional jiu-jitsu fighter. He started winning tournaments and earned BJJ black belt on April 13, 2015.

Dillon Danis competes in middleweight category, 181 lbs (82kg). He is very successful in an absolute category, too. He has no nickname, which is a very strange for a world-known fighter. He is one of the rare fighters which were born outside of Brazil to have such a stunning results and career.

The biggest success of his career, outside of his tournament results, definitively is the preparation of Connor McGregor for the match versus Nate Diaz.

Here are the most important results of his career (important note – he won many rewards with brown belt):

  • IBJJF World Champion (2014);
  • UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Champion (2014);
  • IBJJF World
    No-Gi Champion (2014), absolute and middleweight division;
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion (2014 – absolute division and 2013 – middleweight division);
  • IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Champion (absolute and middleweight division (2016 and 2014), middleweight division- 2013);
  • IBJJF New York Summer Open Champion (2014- absolute and middleweight division);
  • IBJJF New York Spring Open Champion (2016- absolute and middleweight division, 2015- middleweight division);
  • IBJJF Boca Raton International Open Champion (2015), middleweight division;
  • IBJJF New York Spring Open 2nd Place (2015), middleweight division;
  • IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Championship 3rd Place (2013 – absolute division, 2012- middleweight division).

There are so many accomplishments this world-class grappler achieved. During his career, he earned 17 wins (10 by submission) and 13 losses (2 by submission). He is coached by Marcelo Garcia, a jiu-jitsu legend.

Fighting style, skills, and techniques

Dillon Danis is known for his transitions and ability to sweep and to win matches from impossible positions. In many matches, looking from the crowd, you would think Dillon is defeated, but his amazing ability to slip out of nearly completed submission shocks the world. He is a type of a fighter who is always able to surprise the opponent.

#1. Leg submissions – knee bar and toe hold

This fighter has one primary specialty – leg submissions. Some people even questioned whether he is a Sambo or a Brazilian jiu-jitsu master. He performs leg submissions with the same effectiveness and precision like a Sambo master who trained leg locks for a whole life!

He won three matches via knee bar. His ability to create feints before attacking opponent’s leg really gives many troubles to his rivals. Submitting a master like Javier Valenciano via knee bar isn’t an easy task at all. Javier was really surprised with the quick transition Dillon made. Dillon was nearly submitted, but he slipped out of the guillotine choke and grabbed Valenciano’s leg, extended his knee and there was no chance to defend. Other two knee bar victories occurred versus Gottrell King and Javier Yamuni. This video will show you how the master performs knee bars.

He also uses a toe hold, which is extremely rare techniques, even in the world of MMA. Toe hold is a technique you need many years to master. Toe hold was performed versus Gustavo Campos and Luke Harris, who are known to be big masters of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In the fight versus Campos, Dillon quickly rotated on the top of him, grabbing his leg. He maintained complete control of his leg and submitted him after around 30 seconds, despite Campos did the best to slip out of the submission.

#2. Arm in guillotine – a surprise for heavier opponents

Arm in guillotine is a submission which can hardly be performed, especially if your opponent is stronger than you. But in the fights versus Todd Mueckenheim and Aaron Johnson, Dillon did something no human can do. He was fighting in an absolute category, and he won via submission which can hardly be performed against the opponent heavier than you! Both of his opponents were heavier and stronger, so IBJJF Pan American No-Gi will always be remembered for the impossible moves of this outstanding fighter.

There is no doubt Dillon is a strong and technically excellent fighter, who can turn defense into offense and surprise even the best competitors.

#3. Other submission victories

Dillon also has one more victory via triangle choke, one victory via inside heel hook and one victory via D’Arce choke. The most impressive of all those submissions definitively is his triangle choke.

He likes to perform this off the clinch when the opponent doesn’t expect it, which makes this kind of submission extremely surprising, attractive and hard to defend. In his fight versus Josh Hinger in 2016, Dillon demonstrated a world-class knowledge of triangle choke, winning the fight in less than 45 seconds. Both fighters were standing in the clinch, and, out of nowhere, he attacked Hinger via flying triangle choke, crossing his legs on Hinger’s back and trapping Hinger’s left shoulder into a deadly trap. His opponent even slammed him on the ground, but the submission was too strong, Dillon adjusted and Hinger had no choice but to tap out. This is one of the most attractive victories ever seen in the jiu-jitsu competition.

Wrap It Up

You probably get why Dillon is so dangerous and attractive fighter. He is dangerous of all angles and positions. No matter what you do, if he catches your leg or arm, you are done. Unless you have the skills or Royce Gracie or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, your chances to defeat Dillon Danis are very little.

Dillon always fights tactically, waits for the error of his opponent and seeks for the perfect time to attack legs and perform a leg lock or a knee bar. Attacking legs is a great idea since many fighters focus on defending their arms and neck. This leaves them wide open.

Dillon is a world-class fighter to watch and fights are never boring. You will always enjoy the activity, submissions, and throws.

He is only 24 years old – his career is just starting. Brazilian jiu-jitsu definitively needs more fighters like Dillon to attract more people and crowd into their competitions. Enjoy his highlights!


Teaching, Friendly, Young, Passion. Always wanna go up & down. Hey, you gotta live, do you?  

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