John Lewis (fighter)
February 8, 1968 |
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)|
|Division||Lightweight and Welterweight|
|Rank||5th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
1st degree black belt in Judo
1st degree black belt in Jujutsu
2nd degree black belt in Sho Kon Do
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
John Lewis (born February 8, 1968) on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, is an American former mixed martial arts champion, UFC veteran, and a popular MMA/martial arts instructor considered a legend throughout the mixed martial arts world. Lewis is one of the very first true mixed martial arts fighters in the fact that he was well versed in many forms of martial arts when others excelled in one specific style. As a coach he has trained Ultimate Fighting Championship World Champions Chuck Liddell (over 10 years), Tito Ortiz (through winning his first title), Randy Couture, Kevin Randleman, Matt Lindland, Egan Inoue, Enson Inoue, Tony DeSouza, Marvin Eastman, Frank Trigg, Pat Smith, Ricco Rodriguez, Gilbert Yvel and BJ Penn to name a few. As a fighter he has defeated renowned fighters like Japanese legend Rumina Sato and Brazilian MMA champion Johil de Oliveira plus he battled Carlson Gracie Jr. to a draw. He was also in the first 2 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship events held in Abu Dhabi.
Lewis is a highly decorated martial artist as a 5th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Nova Uniao founder Andre Pederneiras, 2nd degree black in Sho Kon Do (Japanese Kickboxing) under founder Dan Koji, 1st degree black belt under "Judo" Gene LeBell, and a 1st degree black belt in Japanese Ju-Jitsu under Sensei Porter. He is also well versed in many other martial arts. Lewis was the 4th American to ever receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the 1st student to receive a black belt from Gene LeBell that trained under him from white belt to black belt.
Mixed Martial Arts career
Lewis is credited with being one of the legends of MMA that set the pace for the athletes of today. A career highlight was in Battlecade Extreme Fighting 1 where he was the first person to go toe-to-toe with a Gracie in his match against Carlson Gracie Jr. During this era there were no judges so the result ended officially in a draw. Having fought all over the world in major events like Vale Tudo Japan series, the Battlecade Extreme Fighting series, multiple UFC events and more, he is truly an icon in the sport and respected by fighters and fans worldwide. He was also in the first 2 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship events.
John Lewis' school was the first MMA/BJJ school to ever open in Nevada in 1995 (Academy J-Sect) and it is still open over 18 years later. Many of the top teachers in Las Vegas learned from John before going on to open their successful businesses or become competition champions. A few of the names would be Robert Drysdale, Marc Laimon, Sonny Nohara, Scott Bieri, Mark Bieri, Roy Nelson "Big Country", Sean Spangler, Sim Go, and more. Before their interest in purchasing the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Lewis' friend Dana White approached him, along with Frank Fertitta and Lorenzo Fertitta, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada and asked John to train them in MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He taught the three gentlemen private lessons for a few years before their interest in purchasing the UFC brand from SEG Sports. Through Mr. Lewis they would meet great MMA fighters like Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn, Frank Shamrock, and many others. John Lewis was also the first fighter that Dana White managed before the purchase of the UFC.
Black Belts Under John Lewis include:
- Steve Silva
- Marc Laimon
- Egan Inoue
- Enson Inoue
- Gazzy Parmon
- Bobby Mrkulic
- Ranson Kepa Shepherd
- Dave Howard
- Anthony "Tino" Sanchez