Unveiling Garry Tonon: From BJJ Prodigy to MMA Maverick

Garry Tonon, a well-known athlete, transitioned to MMA in 2018 after training BJJ for years under John Danaher, Ricardo Almeida, and Tom De Blass.

This article will provide BJJ MMA facts about Garry Tonon that you may not know. Thus, it will emphasize Garry’s tournament exploits, best grappling techniques, and other incredible things.

Garry Tonon Early BJJ Training

garry tonon bjj

Garry Tonon was born in New Jersey, USA, on September 12, 1991. Interestingly, he kicked off his BJJ voyage in the 5th grade. Tonon also trained in wrestling from 5th to 9th grade and had solid potential.

After his friend took him to a local BJJ tournament at 14, Tonon became increasingly interested in grappling. He started training sessions at a friend’s dojo.

However, because it was a pure MMA gym, there were only three Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes, so Garry left it after six months to focus on his BJJ journey.

A leaflet from the Ocean County Jiu-Jitsu Academy drew his attention. The gym was located in New Jersey, which sounded like a perfect solution for a hungry kid.

Tonon fell in love with Tom de Blass’s methodology, and his successful career started—two training sessions per day became a part of his everyday routine!

Garry Tonon Belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

how many degrees of black belt are there in jiu jitsu

Garry Tonon Is A Black Belt Under Ricardo Almeida / Tom De Blass. The long-time BJJ student Garry Tonon was awarded a BJJ black belt by his two coaches in mid-September 2013.

Garry Tonon IBJJF Tournaments

Garry Tonon won first place At the IBJJF Pan Championship no-gi tournament 2015.

Tonon competed at many great, elite-level BJJ tournaments before starting his MMA career, but he lost to the stars in the finals and semifinals.

His greatest success was winning first place at the 2015 IBJJF Pan Championship No-Gi tournament. He was also third-placed at the ADCC World Championship in 2019, one year after starting his mixed martial arts career.

Tonon Competes MMA Career

Garry Tonon signed a contract with ONE FC promotion in 2018. Of course, most of his battles were finished via submission, which is understandable as he comes from Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

In his debut, Tonon surprisingly TKO’d Richard Corminal via ground and pound strikes.

His second fight was hard, but Rahul Raju was forced to tap when the legendary American grappler caught the body triangle and finished the Indian warrior with a rear-naked choke off the back.

Source: ONE Championship

Garry Tonon had a successful Featherweight debut, finishing Sung Jong Lee with a guillotine choke in round two. He followed this with another impressive finish against Anthony Engelen.

Tonon’s quickest victory was against Yoshiki Nakahara, securing a leg submission in just 55 seconds.

Despite his success, Tonon made a critical error in his title strap battle against Thanh Le, leading to his defeat.

Garry Tonon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class

garry tonon mma
Photo Credit: Onefc.com

Garry Tonon competed at lightweight in BJJ, but he’s a featherweight mma competitor.

Garry Tonon is known worldwide as a lightweight (-77 kg) competitor in BJJ. Yet, for his MMA bouts, Tonon started at 170 lbs (77 kilos) due to ONE FC’s different ruleset (hydration tests are mandatory in fight week, and sauna and extreme weight cuts are not allowed).

After his second victory, Tonon spent money on nutritionists before his fights, and now he competes at ONE FC Featherweight (155 pounds). He looks jacked ahead of every battle; one can learn anatomy by looking at his body!

Garry Tonon Effective Grappling Techniques

garry tonon
Photo Credit: Onefc.com

Back Take!

Garry Tonon’s back control is one of the best in the game, especially when he locks you into a dangerous body triangle.

Tonon scored a total of 6 rear-naked choke victories, but his back control and back takes are simply out of this world. If you’re not sweaty, you’re in big trouble against the BJJ phenom from New York!

Inside Heel Hooks!

The most significant number of Tonon’s victories in his grappling record (18) happened via an inside heel hook.

It is a rare but pretty tricky move to defend. When you sit or rotate to the opposite side, you should be able to defend this submission attempt.

Yet, Tonon does it differently, so it is super hard to stay away from it!


Garry Tonon probably made an excellent call by transitioning to mixed martial arts. He has always been a medalist, but we rarely see Tonon win first place in excellent BJJ competitions. Here are some of his achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2015)
  • 1st Place EBI WW Invitational (2014/2015)
  • 1st Place EBI LW Invitational (2015)
  • 1st Place EBI LHW Invitational (2016)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2015*)
  • 3rd Place ADCC World Championship (2019)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2014*)

Interestingly, Tonon had way more success while he hasn’t reached the black belt status. Brown belt no-gi tournaments are also hard to win; there are a few more achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2011/2012 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2008 juvenile blue)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2010* purple, 2011/2012** brown)
  • 1st Place ADCC US Trials (2013)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2010 purple)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2011* brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2011* brown)

(* Absolute, ** Weight and absolute)

Garry Tonon is a dedicated fighter and one of the greatest BJJ stars in modern mixed martial arts. If he wins ONE FC championship, Dana White could put an eye on him. This guy could be a top-notch commercial for Brazilian jiu-jitsu if he reaches the UFC one day!

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