How Did Dillon Danis Get Famous? Here’s A Look At The Rise Of Logan Paul’s Mortal Enemy

Dillon Danis at UFC 229

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Dillon Danis is maybe the hottest name in the MMA streets right now thanks to his high-profile beef with sworn enemy (and boxing opponent) Logan Paul, but a lot of people who’ve seen his name pop up in the headlines have probably had the same question: who is this guy and how did he get famous?

Danis didn’t necessarily appear overnight, but he found himself thrust into the brightest spotlight of his relatively short career courtesy of the objectively wild strategy he’s deployed in an attempt to get under Logan’s skin, which largely revolves around him unearthing and posting fairly scandalous videos, pictures, and stories featuring Paul’s fiancée Nina Agdal.

As a very casual fan of MMA and boxing, those troll jobs have served as my primary introduction to Danis, who wasn’t a total unknown before he set his sights on Paul (and Agdal) but was still a fairly obscure figure in the grand scheme of things.

As a result, I’ve found myself pondering both of the questions I mentioned at the top of this post, and if you’ve found yourself in the same boat, I might be able to help you answer them.

Without further ado…

Who is Dillon Danis and how did he get famous in the first place?

Dillon Danis with Connor McGregor and Christiano Ronaldo

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Dillon Danis (nicknamed “El Jefe”) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in Bellator.

He’s currently 2-0 as a professional MMA fighter and has a skill set built on a foundation of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu he mastered while training under Marcelo Garcia. He first made a name for himself in that particular realm by winning a number of high-level tournaments in the 2010s, earning his black belt after six years of training, and eventually becoming a world champion in the discipline.

That was enough to boost his profile to the point where he attracted the attention of one of the most famous fighters on the planet: Conor McGregor.

McGregor was so impressed with Danis and his BJJ ability that in 2016, he actually brought Danis into his camp to help him prepare for his bout with Nate Diaz at UFC 202. McGregor and Danis developed a strong relationship and they continued to work together through McGregor’s fight in UFC 229 against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

This is where Dillon really made national headlines. If you remember (and I don’t really know how anyone could forget) how that fight ended, you know all hell broke loose after Khabib got Conor to submit in the fourth round.

There was a lot of trash talk leading up to this fight, but most people assumed (as Conor exclaimed to Khabib in the middle of their showdown) that it was all business at the end of the day. Well, that did not turn out to be the case.

After the fight, Khabib stormed into the crowd to start fighting with members of Conor’s team and a melee ensued. Who did Khabib target? Why, none other than Dillon Danis.

After that infamous incident unfolded, Danis became a name inextricably linked with chaos to the point where Garcia (his former mentor) officially disassociated Danis from his school.

However, Dillon didn’t really seem to care, as he was hanging with McGregor, living on yachts, dating supermodels, and reaping the other benefits that came with his newfound fame. but he didn’t care.

Danis hasn’t worked with McGregor a ton since (mostly because Conor hasn’t fought since losing to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in 2021), but he has done everything in his power to keep his name in the media.

He’s antagonized Jake Paul multiple times while essentially begging him to get in the ring with him. He’s made headlines for getting arrested. He’s made wild statements about who he would beat in a fight, He got caught up in a cryptocurrency scam, You know; normal MMA fighter stuff.

In November of 2022, it was announced that Danis was scheduled to fight YouTuber (and Logan Paul’s business partner) KSI in a boxing match at Wembley Stadium. However, Danis backed out just 10 days before the fight, stating that he was “unprepared.”

Danis has been criticized by fighters around the world—including the Paul brothers and Gordan Ryan (his jiu-jitsu nemesis)—for being all talk and no show. He constantly starts beefs with fighters online but almost never ends up fighting thanks to his tendency to whip up some sort of excuse.

However, it appears that’s finally changed.

On August 8th, 2023 it was announced that Danis will be fighting Logan Paul on October 14th at Manchester Arena in England. A beef between Dillon and the Paul Brothers runs very deep, and he essentially has to fight this time or else he’ll be laughed at in the MMA world forever.

He’s undoubtedly a solid jiu-jitsu fighter, but a boxer? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.