• Only fighter to ever win both the UFC lightweight
• One of Hawaii’s most popular and revered athletes
• A top-flight fighter who comes from an affluent family
• First non-Brazilian to win a BJJ
world title at the black belt level
• Earned his BJJ black belt in three years, an astonishing achievement in a sport where it takes the average athlete 10 years or more to reach black belt status (hence the nickname “The Prodigy”)
• Deft submission
skills make him one of the sport’s most feared fighters on the mat
• Respected for his boxing
skills, owns one of the UFC’s best jabs
, a reliable chin, and rarely bleeds
• Owns wins over Matt Hughes
(twice), Sean Sherk
, Diego Sanchez
, Takanori Gomi, Kenny Florian
, Joe Stevenson
, Jens Pulver
and Renzo Gracie
, among others.
• A true warrior who is always willing to test his limits, B.J. has fought as high as 205 pounds against Lyoto Machida
(a decision loss)!
• Boasts extraordinary flexibility and balance, very stout takedown defense, when fresh and not fatigued
• Cardio, and an occasionally relaxed attitude toward training, has been his Achilles Heel; B.J. is 13-2 in fights that end inside of the distance and 3-5-2 in fights that go the distance.
We definitely brought in some good sparring partners for a great training camp.
When and why did you start training for fighting?
A tae kwon do
instructor moved near my house in 96. He took a few private lessons in jiu-jitsu
. I never did tae kwon do
. He saw me and my friends hanging out around the neighborhood and asked my father to have them come wrestle
with him. I never wanted to go and one day my dad was like if you don’t go he won’t stop asking me. So I did it to please my dad. When I went there he tapped me out and my mind started rolling and never stopped.What ranks and titles have you held?
Former UFC Lightweight
Champion. Former UFC Welterweight
Champion. Rumble on the Rock lightweight champion. I am the most decorated jiu-jitsu
athlete in America. I am the first non-Brazilian to win the world championships at the black belt level. Received Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
black belt from Andre Pederneiras.Do you have any heroes?
I have had so many and still do. It wouldn’t be fair to say just one. I have new influences everyday in life and fighting.What is your favorite technique?
My heart and mind are my most important things. I know it doesn’t sound too original but I will prepare properly for each fight and never give up.What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC?
It feels great fighting in the UFC
. When I was younger that is the only place I wanted to fight professionally.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn?
I went to school to learn some wrestling
but wasn’t too serious about the academics.What was your job before you started fighting?