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Chris Weidman receives black belt in jiu-jitsu ahead of UFC 187 bout with Vitor Belfort

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Courtesy of Renzo Gracie

Chris Weidman has reached the highest level in jiu-jitsu just 17 days before his third UFC title defense.

The UFC middleweight kingpin, who faces Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas, received the black belt in jiu-jitsu by Renzo Gracie and Matt Serra on Tuesday in New York.

"Got my black belt from Renzo Gracie and Matt Serra," Weidman posted on his social media. "So honored and blessed to have these guys by my side! Gonna be wearing this around for a while. Thanks again Renzo Gracie and Matt Serra for all the hard work!"

A two-time NCAA All-American wrestler, Weidman impressed at ADCC 2009, when he was just a blue belt, and lost a tough match to multiple time jiu-jitsu champion Andre Galvao. Since then, Weidman signed with the UFC and scored submission over Tom Lawlor and Jesse Bongfeldt.

Weidman fought jiu-jitsu black belts in his last five UFC bouts, and had no trouble when the fight went to the ground. At UFC 187, he faces another in Belfort, a black belt under the legendary Carlson Gracie.

Chris Weidman (Renzo Gracie)