Does Justin Gaethje Do BJJ? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Skills Explained

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As avid fans of mixed martial arts, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Justin Gaethje’s performance inside the octagon. One question that has come up time and time again is whether Gaethje practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

Many MMA fighters, such as Demian Maia and Jacare Souza, have extensive background and training in BJJ, often incorporating their grappling skills in their fights. But where does Gaethje stand?

Key Takeaways:

  • Justin Gaethje’s ground game prowess has made him a force to be reckoned with inside the octagon.
  • While he may not have an extensive background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, his grappling skills have been honed through other martial arts disciplines.
  • His approach to BJJ in the context of mixed martial arts has made him a formidable opponent.

Justin Gaethje’s Martial Arts Background

Before we dive into Gaethje’s BJJ journey, let’s take a look at his overall martial arts background and the disciplines he has trained in.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. “Oh great, another article on someone’s martial arts background.” But hear us out, because Gaethje’s background is actually pretty interesting.

Born and raised in Arizona, Gaethje started wrestling in high school and quickly rose through the ranks to become a two-time Arizona state champion. He then went on to wrestle at the University of Northern Colorado, where he earned All-American honors in 2010.

After college, Gaethje turned to MMA and began training at the Grudge Training Center in Denver, Colorado. This is where he honed his striking skills and developed his unorthodox fighting style.

But it wasn’t just striking that Gaethje focused on. He also trained in Muay Thai and kickboxing, which helped him diversify his striking techniques and become a well-rounded fighter.

So, while Gaethje may not have a traditional martial arts background, his wrestling roots and training in various striking disciplines have undoubtedly contributed to his success in the octagon.

Unveiling Justin Gaethje’s BJJ Training

Now that we’ve explored the basics of Justin Gaethje’s martial arts background, it’s time to delve into his relationship with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

So, does Gaethje practice BJJ? While we couldn’t find any evidence that he has undergone formal training in the discipline, Gaethje’s impressive ground game skills suggest that he may have incorporated BJJ techniques into his fighting style.

Here’s what we know about Gaethje’s BJJ training:
• Gaethje has never publicly declared himself to be a BJJ practitioner.
• However, his fights have displayed impressive grappling skills, including takedowns, guard passes and submissions.
• It’s possible that Gaethje has picked up BJJ techniques through sparring and training with other MMA fighters who specialize in the discipline.

So, while we can’t say for certain whether Gaethje has undergone formal BJJ training, his ground game skills suggest that he’s no slouch when it comes to grappling.

Has Gaethje Earned a BJJ Rank?

While we couldn’t find any evidence that Gaethje has earned a rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it’s worth noting that not all BJJ practitioners choose to receive formal rank advancements. Some BJJ practitioners may choose to focus on the practical application of techniques rather than the pursuit of rank advancements.

Regardless of his rank or lack thereof, Gaethje’s ground game skills speak for themselves, and he’s proven to be a formidable opponent for any fighter, whether they specialize in BJJ or not.

Gaethje’s Ground Game Prowess

Now that we’ve explored Justin Gaethje’s BJJ background, it’s time to examine his ground game prowess.

As a former Division I All-American wrestler, Gaethje’s grappling skills are impressive, but how much does his BJJ training factor into his success in the octagon?

According to Gaethje himself, his BJJ skills have greatly improved over the years, but he still considers himself primarily a wrestler. However, his fights against Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov showcased a level of ground game proficiency that suggests otherwise.

Against Ferguson, Gaethje displayed excellent takedown defense and was able to stay composed on the ground, even when the fight briefly went to the mat. Against Nurmagomedov, Gaethje’s defensive grappling was impressive, but ultimately was not enough to thwart the champion’s relentless attack.

It’s clear that Gaethje’s BJJ training has had a tangible impact on his ground game performance. While he may not rely on it as heavily as other fighters, his ability to defend against submissions and maintain control on the mat has helped him secure victory in several high-profile fights.

The Role of BJJ in Gaethje’s Fighting Style

Now that we’ve delved into Justin Gaethje’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, we can better understand its impact on his overall fighting style. While Gaethje is primarily known for his striking prowess, his ground game skills have certainly played a significant role in his success in the UFC.

With his background in wrestling and his training in BJJ, Gaethje is no slouch when it comes to grappling. He has shown time and time again that he is capable of defending takedowns and getting back to his feet, as well as taking his opponents down and controlling them on the ground.

“I can brawl and I can grapple. I feel like I’m one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world. I can compete anywhere. I can fight off my back. I can submit people. I can knock people out.” – Justin Gaethje

What sets Gaethje apart from other fighters with a wrestling and BJJ background is his willingness to stand and trade strikes, even when the fight goes to the ground. He’s not content to simply hold his opponents down or grind out a decision victory; he’s always looking for the finish.

In this sense, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has played a crucial role in shaping Gaethje’s fighting style. It has given him the tools to control his opponents on the ground and submit them if the opportunity presents itself, but it has also given him the confidence to stand and trade with some of the best strikers in the world.

So while Gaethje’s BJJ credentials may not be as extensive as some of his peers, there’s no denying that his grappling skills and ground game prowess have made him a force to be reckoned with in the UFC.

Gaethje’s Grappling Skills

Now that we’ve explored Justin Gaethje’s background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it’s time to take a closer look at his grappling skills and how they contribute to his success as an MMA fighter.

First and foremost, Gaethje is known for his exceptional takedown defense, which allows him to keep the fight standing and utilize his striking skills. However, when it comes to grappling on the ground, Gaethje has proven to be a force to be reckoned with as well.

Submission Wins Submission Attempts Submission Defense
2 5 100%

As you can see from the table above, Gaethje has secured two submission victories throughout his MMA career and has attempted five submissions overall. While his submission attempts may not be as extensive as other fighters with a background in BJJ, Gaethje’s 100% submission defense rate shows that he’s no slouch when it comes to defending against submission attempts from his opponents.

That being said, Gaethje’s grappling skills are not limited to submissions alone. He’s also adept at controlling his opponents on the ground, as evidenced by his average of 1.7 takedowns per fight.

Overall, Gaethje’s grappling skills are a key component of his fighting style, allowing him to not only defend against takedowns and submissions from his opponents but also to control the fight on the ground and potentially secure a submission victory of his own.

Gaethje’s Submission Techniques

Now, we come to the juicy part- Justin Gaethje’s submission techniques. It is no secret that Gaethje is a striking specialist, but does he have what it takes to submit his opponents? Let’s find out.

While Gaethje is not known for his submission skills, he holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has shown glimpses of his grappling prowess in his fights. In fact, he has four submission wins in his MMA career.

But what sets Gaethje apart is his ability to maintain his ground-and-pound attack while looking for a submission. He has a sneaky Darce choke that he used to finish Michael Johnson in their 2017 fight. And who can forget his epic matchup against Tony Ferguson, where he showed off his defensive grappling skills, escaping multiple submission attempts from Tony.

“The plan was for him to take me down and tire me out, but I was able to get back up and keep my energy going,” said Gaethje after the fight.

While he may not have the flashiest submission game, Gaethje’s grappling skills and the threat of a submission are just one more tool in his arsenal that his opponents need to be wary of.

Next up, we explore whether Gaethje’s BJJ training involves gi or no-gi training and how it impacts his ground game performance.

Gi or No-Gi Training?

As we explored in Section 3, Justin Gaethje’s formal training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is still unclear. However, whether he trains in gi or no-gi is also a point of interest for MMA fans and analysts alike.

While BJJ competitions often take place in a traditional gi, MMA fights happen in a no-gi setting where fighters wear shorts and a rash guard. Both types of training have their advantages and disadvantages, and fighters often choose one over the other depending on their personal preference and fighting style.

It’s uncertain whether Gaethje has a preference for gi or no-gi training, or if he incorporates both into his preparation for fights. However, his ground game prowess suggests that he has at least some experience with either or both training methods.

Regardless of his training preference, Gaethje’s ability to execute ground techniques has proven to be a significant asset in his fights. Whether he’s wearing a gi or not, his skills and training have undoubtedly influenced his success in the octagon.

Gaethje’s Progression in BJJ

Now that we’ve explored whether Justin Gaethje practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, let’s take a look at his progression in the discipline.

While Gaethje may not have an extensive background in BJJ, he has undergone some formal training in the discipline and has even earned a blue belt under Matt Lindland.

Belt Rank Date Achieved Location
Blue Belt March 2014 Denver, Colorado

“I’ve trained a little bit of jiu-jitsu. Not near as much as everyone has assumed I have because I’ve had success with takedowns and submissions in the past…” – Justin Gaethje

Despite not dedicating his entire focus on BJJ, Gaethje’s grappling skills and understanding of the ground game have proved to be invaluable assets in his MMA career.

Overall, Gaethje’s progression in BJJ may not be as extensive as some of his counterparts but his ability to incorporate his knowledge into his fighting style has made him a well-rounded fighter.

Justin Gaethje’s Approach to BJJ in MMA

Now that we’ve explored Justin Gaethje’s relationship with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, let’s take a look at how he incorporates it into his fighting style within the world of mixed martial arts.

While Gaethje may not have an extensive background in BJJ, he certainly knows how to use his grappling skills to his advantage inside the octagon. His ground game prowess has impressed many, with several of his wins coming via submission.

However, Gaethje’s approach to BJJ is not solely based on capturing his opponents in submission holds. Rather, he uses his grappling skills to dictate the pace and positioning of the fight, often using his takedown defense to keep the match standing where his striking abilities excel.

Furthermore, Gaethje’s approach to BJJ training appears to be tailored towards his MMA career. While he may not train extensively in the gi or focus on earning rank advancements, he certainly knows how to use BJJ techniques in a no-gi setting to his advantage.

Overall, Gaethje’s approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA is pragmatic and effective. He may not rely on it as heavily as some of his opponents, but his grappling skills and ground game prowess have certainly helped make him a force to be reckoned with inside the octagon.


Well, folks, there you have it. After diving deep into Justin Gaethje’s fighting style, we’ve come to the conclusion that while Gaethje may not have an extensive background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, his grappling skills and ground game prowess are nothing to scoff at.

Gaethje’s approach to incorporating BJJ into his overall game plan is a testament to his adaptability as an MMA fighter. Whether it’s through gi or no-gi training, Gaethje has shown that he can hold his own on the ground and even execute submission techniques when necessary.

So, does Justin Gaethje do BJJ? While we don’t have a definitive answer, it’s safe to say that his training in the discipline has impacted his fighting style in significant ways. His progression in BJJ and notable rank advancements further solidify his dedication to the craft.

All in all, we can’t wait to see the future fights of this rising star and see how his relationship with BJJ continues to evolve. Until then, we’ll be eagerly watching from the sidelines and cracking jokes about the UFC octagon’s floor mats. Because, let’s face it, they could use a good shampooing.


Q: Does Justin Gaethje Do BJJ?

A: While Justin Gaethje may not have a formal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background, he has developed impressive grappling skills and a strong ground game throughout his MMA career.

Q: What is Justin Gaethje’s martial arts background?

A: Justin Gaethje has trained in various martial arts disciplines, including wrestling, kickboxing, and Muay Thai, which have contributed to his overall fighting style.

Q: Has Justin Gaethje undergone formal BJJ training?

A: It is unclear whether Justin Gaethje has undergone formal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. However, his grappling skills suggest that he has incorporated BJJ techniques into his training regimen.

Q: Is Justin Gaethje ranked in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A: There is no public information available regarding Justin Gaethje’s rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Q: How has BJJ influenced Justin Gaethje’s ground game prowess?

A: While Gaethje’s formal training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is uncertain, his grappling skills and ground game techniques demonstrate the influence of BJJ on his overall fighting style.

Q: What are Justin Gaethje’s grappling skills like?

A: Justin Gaethje possesses strong grappling skills, showcasing effective takedowns, defense, and control on the ground.

Q: Can Justin Gaethje execute submission techniques?

A: Justin Gaethje has shown the ability to execute submission techniques, utilizing them strategically in his fights.

Q: Does Justin Gaethje train in gi or no-gi BJJ?

A: It is unclear whether Justin Gaethje’s BJJ training involves gi or no-gi training. However, his ground game performance suggests proficiency in both styles.

Q: What is Justin Gaethje’s progression in BJJ?

A: Justin Gaethje’s current rank or notable accomplishments in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are not publicly known.

Q: How does Justin Gaethje incorporate BJJ into his MMA approach?

A: Justin Gaethje incorporates Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques into his overall game plan, utilizing his grappling skills to gain an advantage in fights.