Chad George is no stranger to the spotlight. He's been fighting professional MMA for more than 10 years with bouts in promotions like WEC and Bellator MMA. He's even had a documentary made about him and the video of his retirement fight went viral.
But he gave up the big lights and notoriety of MMA to focus on his passion for Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“I fell in love with jiu-jitsu again,” George told Champions.co. “I might be one of the first guys to go from MMA to jits, not the other way around.”
This decision has paid off for George as he is rolling (pun intended) in medals from tournaments all over the state, and was just asked to compete in the Eddie Bravo Invitational, a high honor given to only the top black belts in the world. George was one of just 16 men chosen for the tournament.
"What better way to transition coming from the pinnacle of MMA?" he said.
EBI is a submission-only, no-gi grappling tournament where, if successful, George could potentially compete against black belts with 10 plus years of jiu-jitsu experience.
"It's crazy because I just got my black belt last month," George said. "Most of these guys have had their belt for years. It's a huge honor."
This training camp will go much like an MMA camp, George said, with just a few minor adjustments. He has invited high-level grapplers to his gym to help him train. Champions.co was invited to come observe a typical training session.
George rolls with various fighters over an hour and half, give or take, breaking only for a few seconds to rehydrate. The pace and pressure are intense and George said this is in order to prepare him for the grueling competition which can go into extended overtime.
"I plan on out working everyone," George laughed. "I really want to test myself, I have done the MMA thing and now I am ready to test my jiu-jitsu skills at a high level."
Champions.co will be following George for the next four weeks, leading up to his July 16 match at EBI 7. Next week we will break down some of his potential opponents and more specifics in his training regime.