Lookout Elon Musk! Mark Zuckerberg awarded BJJ blue belt

Mark Zuckerberg has received his blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Dave Camarillo.

By: Nate Wilcox | 2 weeks ago

Mark Zuckerberg, capo di tutti capo of Meta, has been awarded his blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu by legendary MMA coach Dave Camarillo.

Mark Zuckerberg makes an Instagram announcement

The world’s wealthiest BJJ white belt no longer, Zuckerberg took to Instagram to announce his promotion to blue belt by legendary MMA coach Dave Camarillo. He also congratulated Camarillo on receiving his 5th degree black belt.

Dave Camarillo awards Mark Zuckerberg his BJJ blue belt.
Dave Camarillo awards Mark Zuckerberg his BJJ blue belt.

Camarillo was the long-time BJJ coach at the American Kickboxing Academy where he trained UFC champs Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier among others.

“Congrats @davecamarillo on your 5th degree black belt. You’re a great coach and I’ve learned so much about fighting and life from training with you. Also honored to be promoted to compete at blue belt for @guerrillajjsanjose team.”

Zuckerberg’s controversial BJJ competition history

Bloody Elbow’s own Eugene S. Robinson has reported extensively on Zuckerberg’s BJJ competition experience, in particular the controversy over whether or not Zuck got slept. Eugene spoke to Lucas Costa, the ref of Zuckerberg’s first BJJ match.

“There was no argument,” said Costa. “It was in Gi and he got choked out. That was the video you saw. I stopped it and he wanted to check with me about why I stopped it. He didn’t know what was happening, which was one of the reasons I stopped it. But he had started to snore and the rule set says that snoring is a version of a verbal tap.”

Was there a possibility that he was just clearing his throat?

“I was paying a lot of attention,” Costa laughed. “I was paying even more attention because it was Mark. He got caught in an Ezekiel and I waited, but he didn’t fight back. And I was waiting, but on the third snore I had to stop the fight. He was very polite but he wanted to know how the rules work.”

Zuck’s people responded.

“At no point during the competition was Mark knocked unconscious,” Elana Widmann, a spokesperson for Meta, said in an email to The Daily Beast. “That never happened.”

Costa had to speak to Eugene a second time to clear the record.

When asked if Zuckerberg was actually “out” Costa said “yes, for like two seconds. I was looking straight into his eyes. That’s what made me stop. He had a dead look.” So, in an excess of caution, Costa did what good referees do: he called off the competition.

The later contention that Costa “apologized” to Zuckerberg, presumably as the press has been running, for a missed call, was also incorrect. “I told him I was ‘sorry’ that he didn’t know that snoring is a verbal tap.” But in response to the claim that Zuckerberg never went out? “When you go out and you don’t feel it when you do, you say that,” Costa says. “So, of course, how can he know?”

“I wasn’t going to treat him special,” Costa continued. “A white belt who didn’t even try to defend the choke?”

CNN reported the outcome of Zuckerberg’s first tournament.

“The 38-year-old Zuckerberg competed at the BJJ Tour competition in Woodside, California. Zuckerberg won the gold medal in the Nogi Master 1 White Belt Feather Weight Division and the Silver medal in the Gi Master 2 White Belt Feather Weight Division, BJJ Tour confirmed.

“Competed in my first jiu jitsu tournament and won some medals for the Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu team,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook. The post garnered more than 40,000 comments including from UFC fighter Conor McGregor and jiu-jitsu world champion Bernardo Faria.”

Zuckerberg’s opponents speak

Jeff Ibrahim, the man who beat Zuckerberg at his first tournament spoke to NPR.

“I mean, whatever politics people have regarding Zuckerberg, he came across to me like, he was a cool dude,” Ibrahim said. “I just looked at him like he was just another person who wanted to compete in jiu-jitsu. And the one thing that people don’t understand, the hardest part is stepping on a mat to compete in front of hundreds or thousands of people. And, you know, I have to give him his props. He did that.”

Vijay Hanumantha Raju, a 33-year-old Uber engineer who lost to Zuckerberg spoke to GQ.

GQ: “So the match with Zuckerberg was your first match ever? At what point in the day did you realize it was going to be him?” 

Raju: “When I was looking at the list of competitors before the actual tournament, I tried to figure out it out a few days before and I couldn’t come up with anything. He had used his middle name—he was under ‘Mark Elliot.'”

“It was literally about two, three minutes before the actual match that I realized.”

MMA match with Elon Musk

Mark Zuckerberg’s BJJ training will presumably come in handy should his much-discussed MMA bout with Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk ever come to pass.

As UFC boss Dana White told The New York Times, “I’ve been talking to Zuckerberg now for maybe close to two years now,” Dana told the NYT. “And there’s never like banter or we’re joking and laughing.” He said the Meta chief executive was “dead serious all the time.”

Bloody Elbow excels at covering fight-related nonsense like Mark Zuckerberg vs Elon Musk. We do it for the eyeballs and the ad revenue and to amuse our loyal audience who appreciates that nonsense is a big part of the combat carnival. 

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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