An airline ticket to the mat spelled success for UFC welterweight Ben Saunders (8-1-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
Saunders, 26, received a long-delayed brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from coach Ricardo Liborio on Wednesday and was hip-tossed to seal the deal. Usually, jiu-jitsu promotions come with a run through a gauntlet of dojo members who whip the lucky contestant with their belts. This time, a takedown sufficed.
Saunders, a flagship member of American Top Team's Orlando branch, said he was honored by the promotion and would work towards a black belt as his fight career allowed.
"I'm like the superhero coming in with the anti-bullsh*t." - Nick Diaz