Who is Dillon “El Jefe” Danis?

Who is Dillon “El Jefe” Danis?

Just hearing the name Dillon Danis makes many in the BJJ and MMA community’s eyes roll. He is a brash character that never shies away from controversy and always looks to make a name for himself.

Although he is primarily known as an instigator on the internet, Danis isn’t just some internet troll. Dillon has world class Jiu Jitsu ability and has won some of BJJ’s biggest prizes.

Let’s take a look at who Danis really is and what he has accomplished. Then we’ll show how he evolved into his character and highlight some of his most controversial moments

Dillon Danis MMA

Danis’ entry into BJJ

Dillon Danis grew up in the state of New Jersey and began training Jiu Jitsu at 15. He made this decision after a fight in high school, where he was able to lock on an RNC.

Danis saw that grappling worked and wanted to legitimately learn how to grappler. His entry into Jiu Jitsu began under black belt Jaime Cruz. That was a huge reality check for Danis!

As a teen, Danis wasn’t a very strong kid and this put him at a disadvantage being in the adult class. Though this didn’t deter Danis and was what really motivated him to get better.

Along with his Jiu Jitsu training, he also began training amateur wrestling with high school coach Jason Lodato. Not to mention he began visiting Marcelo Garcia’s academy in New York with Jaime Cruz when he was a blue belt.

After graduating high school, Danis decided that his goal would be to become a professional Jiu Jitsu athlete. To achieve this dream, he moved to New York and began training under Marcelo Garcia. Training under Garcia would unlock Danis’ true potential at becoming an accomplished grappler.

Danis’ early success in BJJ

Once Dillon began training under Marcelo Garcia his game went to a whole other stratosphere. He began winning just about every competition he went to and started catching the eye of many in the community.

It was at brown belt, where Danis really started to get noticed for his skill. Danis won every major competition at brown belt including both the IBJJF World Gi and No-Gi Championships in 2014. At No-Gi Worlds, Dillon earned double gold winning his division and the absolute division.

Dillon was seen to be the next big thing in Jiu Jitsu and would continue improving his skill. After winning every major title at brown belt, Marcelo Garcia awarded Danis with his black belt in 2015.

dillon danis conor mcgregor

Danis befriends Conor McGregor

In 2016, Danis was offered to be the main grappling partner for former UFC champ Conor Mcgregor. He quickly became friends with Mcgregor and became one of the fighter’s closest associates.

Some of McGregor’s personality started to rub off on Danis and began trash talking like the Irish fighter. The transformation also happened rather quickly due to the fact that Conor was in fight camp to fight Nate Diaz. 

There was a lot of heat between Conor and Nate’s camp and Dillon became very vocal insulting Diaz’s camp. So much so that it caused friction between him and his coach Marcelo Garcia.

Marcelo was so upset with the way Danis was presenting himself that he cut all association with his student. Garcia being highly respected in Jiu Jitsu did not want Danis’s new persona to be associated with his academy.

This would prove to be only the beginning of Danis and his hijinks.

Dillon Danis Trolling on Social Media

Danis when he is not training with McGregor spends most of his time on social media stirring up trouble. He calls out anyone and everyone in MMA/BJJ with a name insulting them and challenging them to fights.

Dillon has annoyed quite a large group of fighters, but not much has come from them.

The Khabib/Conor riot

The biggest controversy that Danis found himself in was at UFC 229 when Conor Mcgregor fought Khabib Nurmagomedov. The tension was at a boiling point ever since Conor threw a dolly at Khabib’s bus before UFC 223.

Of course leading up to the fight Conor would stoke the flames before the fight with Danis doing the same. Doing everything from insulting Khabib’s country and religion.

These antics enraged Khabib, who was dead set on dominating Conor at UFC 229. After submitting Conor, Khabib would then jump out of the cage and a riot ensued.

His primary target as he leaped into the crowd was Dillon Danis. They both exchanged strikes before security intervened.

Even though this was a black eye on MMA, Danis was even more emboldened after the altercation. Claiming that Khabib was lucky that security intervened before Danis could KO him.

dillon danis conor mcgregor

Danis’ MMA debut

After spending a few years training with McGregor, Danis decided he wanted to fight pro MMA. Since he was Conor’s main grappling partner, MMA promotion Bellator quickly signed Danis to a fight contract.

He would have his first fight against Kyle Walker in 2018 and win easily by submission. His next fight in 2019 would be another first round submission against Max Humphrey, which was his last fight.

Final Thoughts

Danis has unfortunately been sidelined for the last 2 years due to an ACL tear that required total reconstruction surgery. Even though he has been sidelined for some time that still hasn’t stopped him from talking on social media.

For the last 5 years, Danis has not stopped creating beef with other fighters on twitter. His twitter fingers are on point! We can probably expect more of the same from Dillon in the coming future with maybe a few actual MMA fights.