2000 World Championships
Black Belt Featherweight Final
Tijuca Tenis Clube, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
BJ Penn vs Edson Dinitz
This is a historic match in that it is the first time that a non-brazilian won a world title in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. What is interesting as well is the backstory on BJ’s rise in BJJ.
BJ Penn (facing the camera at the start) started training in late 1997 or 1998. He is on record as winning a silver medal, as a blue belt, in the 1998 world championships. Two years later, in what is believed to be his first event at Black Belt, he wins a world championship. This is why they nicknamed him “The Prodigy.” After this event, I don’t believe he entered a competitive grappling match again. He went on to do that UFC thing and I guess he was pretty good at it.
Edson Dinitz was living in Florida around the time of this event and I knew him from watching him in local tournaments and regional MMA events. Edson was a favorite amongst all of us, regardless of affiliation, because he is a super nice guy, super talented, and always game for a match.
Knowing how good Edson was says something about BJ with his dominance in this fight. Take note also that this is one of the earliest uses of the body triangle as a means for controlling someones back that I have seen.
Enjoy BJ vs Edson