Conor McGregor's jiu-jitsu coach, Dillon Danis wants to fight in the UFC.
The Marcelo Garcia jiu-jitsu black belt took to Instagram on Wednesday to say that he wants to fight in the UFC, tagging UFC president, Dana White, telling him he would "play" with the competition.
This isn't the first time Danis has said he wants to fight in the UFC. The 23-year-old said he would even fight UFC veteran and jiu-jitsu black belt Nate Diaz, following McGregor's fight with Diaz at UFC 202 this past August. Diaz previously called out Danis, saying he was on his "hit list."
"I don't know what that means, I'm on his hit list,” Danis told Ariel Helwani on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. “But if he wants to do MMA, I'll fight him in MMA, if he wants. He can do a CM Punk with me and bring me into the UFC. He can be my first fight. I'll fight him in a couple months, whatever he wants to do."
Even though Danis has no MMA experience, this situation is unlike CM Punk's, as Punk had no martial arts background, and was also 37 years old. One can make a case that the 23-year-old decorated, multi-time jiu-jitsu champion may make a better debut than Punk. It's also worth noting that CM Punk fought a lower level fighter in Mickey Gall, compared to Nate Diaz, who has 30 MMA bouts and has been fighting professionally for 12 years.
There have been many top jiu-jitsu fighters like Danis that have both successfully and unsuccessfully made a transition into MMA. Most recently, we've seen the likes of Gabi Garcia, Kron Gracie, Mackenzie Dern, Davi Ramos, and Ryan Hall succeed in MMA with their high-level grappling. However, something that all those jiu-jitsu players have in common, is that they didn't debut against the highest level of competition – mostly found within the UFC.
The UFC has given no official response to Danis, but in a world where CM Punk fought in the UFC, anything can happen.