'What can't he do?' - Umaga stuns with Brazilian jiu-jitsu medal

September 14, 2022

Umaga finished second at the tournament in Las Vegas earlier this month, going down to the USA's Scott Giller in the final of the men's master 4 brown super heavyweight division after winning his quarter-final and semi-final earlier in the day.

Brown belt is the highest senior belt rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the black belt ranks and requires that fighters be at least 18-years-old to receive it. The IBJJF also recommends fighters have spent a minimum of 18 months as a purple belt - the rank below brown.

Despite Umaga's brown belt event happening on Thursday September 1, Umaga's success wasn't widely known until two weeks later when the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation shared a photo of the rugby star to their social media.

In the picture, Umaga is seen wearing a traditional gi [the uniform of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter] with his hand raised in triumph and sporting a massive grin.

"All Blacks rugby legend Tana Umaga having a great time at the World Masters 2022," the IBJJF captioned the picture.

The image quickly went viral with fans and even the Blues, who Umaga re-joined last month as a coaching consultant, congratulating the 49-year-old.

"What can’t he do," the Blues said.

Fellipe Andrew, a black belt who also represents the Alliance gym, also congratulated Umaga with emojis while calling him a "monster".

Current All Black and Blues star Rieko Ioane also like the post.

Umaga has been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2012, having retired from his 74-Test rugby career in 2011 after a brief return to Super Rugby with the Chiefs.


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