Marcelo Garcia asked two of his black belts to take time off, including Bellator MMA signing Dillon Danis.
Bellator MMA’s Dillon Danis is recognized as one of the best grapplers in the sport today, but news broke on Thursday that the black belt has been indefinitely suspended from Marcelo Garcia’s academy. Danis isn’t the only individual to face the punishment as Mansher Khera is also suspended from the group. Garcia, one of the most highly-regarded personalities in the industry, posted a 16-minute video on YouTube revealing the news and why he made the decision.
In a video titled “We can all do better” Garcia made it clear that he was disturbed by some of the recent situations that his students have found themselves in. An emotional Garcia spoke in length about what Jiu Jitsu has meant to him and his development as a person, competitor and instructor. Throughout the video he references the ideal that he expects his students to be a positive example to those around them. It’s that ideal that played a part in asking Khera and Danis to take time off.
“I wished my black belts were doing the best they could to take people to a better place,” Garcia said. “We got Dillon and Mansher to take some time off. They need to refocus. They need to take time to see what they want. They aren’t showing that they want any of the things I showed you guys.”
Danis has become a lightning rod within the grappling scene. His abilities on the mat can’t be questioned, but behavior off the mat has caused some to question the 23-year old New Jersey native. In recent months he’s gained fame for his part in skirmishes off the mat with members of the Danaher Death Squad, the bottle throwing incident leading into UFC 202, along with back-and-forth spats on social media. While his track record on the mat continued to show success, he’s becoming more known for what’s been occurring outside of competition.
Khera may not be as well-known as Danis, but holds a prominent place in the Marcelo Garcia lineage as he’s the first person to go from white belt to black belt under Garcia. He’s found success in competitions in the past and is slated to compete at the ADCC Submission Wrestling tournament in Finland this September.
“I really want to reinforce everything I just told you guys,” Garcia said. “They aren’t being the example that I want them to be. Things happen, I don’t want to say each thing, but they were adding up. I don’t kick people out. I really don’t want to do that. I told them to take some time off, figure it out.”
“Today this sport has changed, but not always for the better,” Garcia said. “To compete you don’t need to demoralize someone, you don’t need to act stupid to become a champion. I feel responsible when someone in this gym doesn’t act proper, doesn’t act nice. We all can do better.”