• Andrew Starc

4 Things to Know About Dillon Danis

Coat-tail rider. Conor McGregor's b*tch – these are some of the more civil appellations heaped onto Dillon Danis by his haters.

And the 27-year-old Bellator welterweight has an army of them. Read the endless stream of negative comments on his Instagram, or replies on his Twitter, and you'll see far worse slung at Danis.

However, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt – who trained under the famed Marcelo Garcia – seems to revel in it.

Scrolling through his social media – which serves a steady diet of fast cars and women, celebrity photo ops, and gaudy designer outfits – it's clear Danis is deliberately courting a legion of haters.

There's the Dan Bilzarian-esque pics of Danis amidst a floating harem of bikini-clad women.

Tweets announcing himself as the "sex symbol of the decade" and flaunting his long-term partner, who seems a sweet girl, as his "bad b*tch."

Predictable self comparisons to Jesus and Al Pacino's Scarface.

And statements so ludicrously crass and braggadocious they're actually pretty funny.

While nauseating, it's this grotesquely narcissistic online persona – one that pushes all the right buttons – that saw Danis piggyback on the fame of Conor McGregor and land a $100K per fight Bellator contract.

Sure, he's only fought twice. But with 1.1 million Instagram followers, Danis is clearly doing something right – even if most of them are just there to slag him off.

So besides his chief vocation as warped social media creature, what is Danis famous for? Here's the top four things.

1. Dillon Danis rose to fame as Conor McGregor's training partner

It was 2016, and Conor McGregor had just tasted defeat for the first time in the UFC thanks to Nate Diaz. Against all odds, Diaz – who had taken the bout on 13 days' notice – submitted McGregor in the second round with a rear-naked choke.

Jiu-jitsu was never the Irishman's strong suit, and with a rematch looming, he needed a training partner who could bolster his grappling acumen.

That partner was Danis – a little known, yet highly-credentialed Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.

The duo became fast friends. Danis entered McGregor's world of celebrity, and was seen by millions across social media. He soon became a household name in MMA, piggybacking of the notoriety of the biggest star in the game.

Danis has definitely taken a leaf from Conor's handbook on self-promotion, aping many of the tactics the Irishman used on his rise to fame.

He's posed imperiously in grotesque designer-label outfits. And in front of a Bently. Made claims of Bellator ownership. Appropriated Conor's famous phrases. And taken shameless egoism to lofty new heights.

"I want to fight the best, just like Conor does," Danis told Yahoo Sports in 2017.

"We’re different people, though we’re very like-minded. We set high goals and we aren’t afraid to try to achieve."

2. Dillon Danis as a fighter: His BJJ career and Bellator record

Today, Danis seems more social media influencer than fighter. But he has a strong Brazilian jiu-jitsu background, having trained in the discipline since age 15.

At 19, he decided to become a professional and train full-time at Mercelo Garcia's academy in New York.

In 2014, at the age of 21, Danis won a series of international tournaments while competing as a brown belt. But perhaps his claim to fame during this time was submitting UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon – who boasted 18 MMA submission victories – at the Metamoris 6 tournament.

His last match was in 2015 – the year he received his black belt – and his professional jiu-jitsu record stands at 18-16.

In April 2018, on the back of his newfound social media fame, Danis made his professional MMA debut against Kyle Walker in Bellator's welterweight division. He won the bout via first-round armbar submission, and was reportedly paid $100K for his efforts.

In June 2019, Danis defeated Max Humphrey via first-round toe hold submission. He was scheduled to fight Kegan Gennrich at Bellator 238 in January 2020, but was forced to pull out after requiring knee surgery.

3. Dillon Danis' beef with Khabib Nurmagomedov

It was one of the most iconic scenes in UFC history – Khabib Nurmagomedov climbing over the cage and launching himself feet-first into the crowd, straight at Dillon Danis.

Khabib had just submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in the most watched pay-per-view in the franchise's history, after months of enduring vile trash talk from the Irishman.

There were reports that Danis, shouting ringside, had called Khabib a "f**king Muslim rat." However, Dillon denied the claim.

“Khabib fans are attempting to smear me in an attempt to justify his actions. I have never and would never denigrate anyone’s religion," Danis told ESPN.

Leading up to the incident, Danis claims one of Khabib’s managers was pushing him from behind, and that he was sprayed with spit from Khabib throwing his mouthpiece at him.

According to UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, Danis could be heard hurling insults at the Dagestani.

"Dillon was absolutely insulting Khabib, saying something to him and provoking him and then Khabib just jumped over the cage and attacked him," Rogan said

However in an interview with Submission Radio, Khabib claims he didn't even hear Danis, and that he targeted him for an entirely different reason.

"No, I didn’t hear him, you know. It was too loud."

"I jumped on him because Conor’s other corner, other coaches, too old, and that’s why I jumped on him."

Danis was handed a 7-month ban from competing and fined $7,500 for his hand in the brawl.

He also suffered a concussion, according to UFC featherweight Brian Ortega, who ran into Danis at a Las Vegas nightclub after the melee.

Ortega recalled his interaction with Danis in an interview with TMZ Sports.

"He was just like, ‘Yeah, man, sh*t got crazy. These guys started throwing, I started throwing.’ One of his eyes was swollen. He was just like, ‘Yeah, man, I think they gave me a concussion,'" said Ortega.

The UFC 229 brawl was the culmination of a long-running feud that started with McGregor's infamous attack on a bus carrying Nurmagomedov. Danis had been present when it all went down, and even paid the Irishman's $50K bail.

4. Dillon Danis' beef with Jake Paul

This could be the dumbest thing this esteemed masthead has ever reported on, but here it is.

The Dillon Danis–Jake Paul beef all started in September 2019, when Danis called out YouTuber brothers Jake and Logan Paul over Twitter, commenting "f**k the Pauls."

Jake responded, implying Danis’ girlfriend, Savannah Montano, had hooked up with one of them.

This prompted Danis to post a picture of himself with Paul’s Youtube star wife, Tana Mongeau with the caption, "I teabagged your wife."

According to Mongeau, Danis had actually taken the pic with her after waiting in line.

"I’m rly tryna stay outta this fight sh*t but ur dizzy bro. u waited in line after five fans and took a pic. ur girlfriend in my DMS. leave me outta this," she said.

Danis and Jake Paul would trade barbs on Twitter for the next year, when in late 2020 the beef stepped up a notch.

During his interview on Brendan Schaub's Food Truck Diaries, Danis was suddenly pelted by water balloons in a drive-by orchestrated by Paul, who announced the ambush by declaring Danis as "Conor McGregors's b*tch."

Danis attempted to chase Paul, after he's heard vowing to "f**k this n**** up."

The drive-by came a day after Paul posted a video calling out Conor McGregor, with the YouTuber having recently knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in an exhibition boxing match.

Draped in the Irish tricolor whilst seated on a Lamborghini, Paul claimed to have sent the Irishman a $50 million fight contract, before insulting McGregor's wife and branding UFC President Dana White an "ugly bald b*tch."

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