ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

Before UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was king of the , he was a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competing in a tournament against a Gracie.

In this footage from 2012, McGregor competes against Kywan Gracie-Behring at IBJJF European tournament in the no gi division. The pair are both wearing purple rash guards which represent their belt rankings.

Gracie-Behring is the son of black belt Marcelo Behring and Kirla Gracie, and studied under the legendary Roger Gracie.

McGregor isn't known for his jiu-jitsu skills (just watch his first fight with Nate Diaz), but he certainly shows that he's got the chops here.

Gracie-Behring spoke to MMAFighting about the match back in 2015, right as McGregor's career began to really take off.

"I had just moved to London, I believe that was my first tournament, and I had no idea who he was. That was my first match in the tournament and I defeated him by 2-0 with a sweep," Gracie-Behring said.

His competitor would go on to take third in the division. He is now a brown belt according to his Instagram.

McGregor is preparing for the biggest fight of his career when he takes on UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at . If McGregor wins he will become the first ever UFC fighter to hold a belt in two weight classes simultaneously.

Watch UFC 205 on November 12, live from Madison Square Garden, New York.


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