Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Keenan Cornelius

Keenan Cornelius is a Hawaii born, famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor who gathered a tremendous fan base world wide since his lower belt grappling campaigns, where he won the “Jiu Jitsu Grand Slam”, being regarded as the most accomplished brown belt of all time. The talented fighter received his black belt from André Galvão on September 2013 though he started his career as a grappler training under BJ Penn and Lloyd Irvin.

Keenan Cornelius Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Keenan Kai-James Cornelius

Nickname: n/a

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Reyson Gracie > Osvaldo Alves > Luis Dagmar > André Galvão > Keenan Cornelius

Main Achievements:

  • World Jiu Jitsu Champion (2013 brown, 2012 purple weight & absolute)
  • World No Gi Champion (2014 black, 2012 brown weight & absolute, 2011)
  • IBJJF Pro League Champion (2014)
  • Five Grappling ‘Round Robin’ Champion (2013)
  • BJJ Kumite Champion – Gi and No Gi (2012 brown)
  • Pan American Champion (2015, 2014 black, 2013 brown weight & absolute, 2012 purple weight & absolute)
  • European Open Champion (2013 brown weight & absolute, 2012 purple weight & absolute)
  • Brazilian National Champion (2012 purple weight & absolute)
  • ADCC Bronze Medallist (2013 weight & absolute)

Favourite Position/Technique:

Weight Division: 88kg/194lbs

Team/Association: Atos

Keenan Cornelius Biography

Keenan Cornelius was born in Hawaii on the 25th of February, 1992. Keenan’s father, Tom Callos was a 6th degree Tae Kwon Do black belt who started teaching Cornelius the Korean striking art when he was just 4 years old, though his son was not interested in martial arts at that age and stopped training early on. He found Jiu Jitsu at the age of 14, again through his father. His dad was a big fan of mixed martial arts and had some basic grappling concepts, in fact, it was Mr Callos who introduced BJ Penn to BJJ a long time before Keenan ever got involved in the sport. Keenan’s father was a blue belt at the time and opened a small gym for his son to train with his friends once or twice per week, the kids (all big fans of the UFC) used the space more as an open mat as most of them had some wrestling experience from school. He was graded by Carlos Valente to green belt as Mr Valente passed by Keenan’s town to give a seminar and assessed his skill level as above white belt.

By the age of 15, Keenan started getting more interested in Jiu Jitsu and chose to visit a gym where Cassio Werneck coached. He enjoyed the classes but couldn’t deal with the commute every day, so only visited the academy two or three times per month. At Werneck’s gym, Cornelius met Andris Brunovskis, a kid (at the time) who would push young Keenan to further develop his skills.

When in his mid teens, Cornelius’ father took him for a weekend of training at the BJ Penn academy in Hilo. There he spent time with BJ (one of Keenan’s idols at the time) and his brother, Cornelius liked it so much he decided to enroll in a college in Hilo so he could train every day at the Penn’s gym.

Although Keenan did train for two years at the BJ Penn academy, these were times when BJ was still a very active competitor in the UFC and often wondered the country in training camps and other fighting related activities, which meant the gym didn’t have a full time black belt as a coach and on top of that, wasn’t very gi orientated. Keenan had a ton of talent and earned his purple belt under BJ after a silver medal at an important NAGA event. However, months later in a conversation with his friend Andris Brunovskis, he found out about Lloyd Irvin and his camp, where Brunovskis was now training. Andris spoke such good things about “Master” Lloyd’s training camp, Keenan became convinced this was the place for him, and so he left BJ Penn and started training with Irvin in Maryland.

At Lloyd Irvin’s academy, Keenan Cornelius’ raw talent flourished into one of the most talented fighters of his generation winning all major competitions on the IBJJF roster, back to back as a purple belt and a brown belt. Keenan’s career picked up quickly and he became somewhat of a celebrity among BJJ enthusiasts in the United States who saw Cornelius as the big US hope for a future shot at an absolute world title in the black belt division.

On 2013, after two of Lloyd Irvin’s students were accused of raping a fellow team mate of Lloyd Irvin’s academy in a barbaric affair, Lloyd Irvin himself came under scrutiny, when it was made public that Irvin to had been accused of gang rape in a case that dated back to 1990. In a continuation of the shocking case that came to light on January 2013, early in March of the same year a fellow team mate of Keenan named Jordon Shultz, revealed that one of the female students at TLI had come to him explaining how Lloyd Irvin tried to sexually molest her. The continuous stream of negative information surrounding TLI led a few of the main competitors of the team to abandon the organization, Keenan included.

Keenan moved on to the Atos team camp led by André Galvão who accepted the grappling prodigy with open arms. A few months later on September the 14th, 2013, Galvão awarded Cornelius his black belt.

Banner picture by Gracie Mag.

Keenan Cornelius Grappling Record

    26 (34%)
    4 (5%)
    42 (55%)
    5 (6%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Arm in Ezekiel
Heel Hook
Triangle armbar
Darce choke
Inverted armbar
North South choke
Inverted triangle
Verbal tap
Mata leao
    12 (71%)
    2 (12%)
    0 (0%)
    2 (12%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (6%)


Keenan Cornelius Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
4489Romulo BarralRomulo BarralLPointsADCC88KGSF2013
4532Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuLPointsADCCABSSF2013
4731Alexander TransAlexander TransLPts: 3x2Pan AmericanABS1/4F2014
5021Marcus AlmeidaMarcus AlmeidaLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Pro.ABSSF2014
5023Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.ABS3PLC2014
5051Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLPointsWorld Pro.94KGSF2014
5099Marcus AlmeidaMarcus AlmeidaLPts: 10x4World Champ.ABSSF2014
5198Diogo GamonalLDQWorld Champ.88KGRDS2014
5362Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLPts: 4x0No Gi WorldsABSF2014
5456Leandro LoLeandro LoLPts: 6x2NYC Pro94KGF2014
5982Leo NogueiraLeo NogueiraLPts: 0x0, AdvPan AmericanABS1/4F2015
6310Victor EstimaVictor EstimaLReferee DecisionWorld Pro85KGSF2015
6373Alexander TransAlexander TransLPts: 2x0World ProABSSF2015
6375Leandro LoLeandro LoLPts: 4x2World ProABS3RD2015
6484Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroDN/AMetamoris 6ABSSPF2015
6536Leandro LoLeandro LoLPts: 8x6World Champ.ABS1/4F2015
6640Tim SpriggsTim SpriggsLPts: 2x0World Champ.94KG1/4F2015
7013Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLPts: 3x0ADCC88KGF2015
3919Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWArmbarWorld ExpoABSSPF2013
4004Magid HageWArmbarWC Pro Trials85KGRR2013
4005Morris AyalaWChoke from backWC Pro Trials85KGRR2013
4006Elliot KellyWChoke from backWC Pro TrialsABSSF2013
4007Gustavo PiresWChoke from backWC Pro TrialsABSF2013
4476Clark GracieClark GracieWPts: 4x2ADCC88KGR12013
4484Oskar PiechotaWDarce chokeADCC88KG1/4F2013
4490Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWVerbal tapADCC88KG3PLC2013
4523Erza LennonWHeel HookADCCABSR12013
4529Oskar PiechotaWPts: 8x0ADCCABS1/4F2013
4534Dean ListerDean ListerWPointsADCCABS3PLC2013
4604Diego GamonalWTriangle armbarPro League94KGSF2013
4606Jackson SousaJackson SousaWPts: 2x0Pro League94KGF2013
4643Beneil DariushWHeel hookFIVE Rd RobinABSRR2013
4645Jackson SousaJackson SousaWReferee DecisionFIVE Rd RobinABSRR2013
4646James PuopoloJames PuopoloWMata leaoFIVE Rd RobinABSRR2013
4648Garry TononGarry TononWPts: 14x0FIVE Rd RobinABSRR2013
4702Kevin CaseyWHeel hookMetamoris 3ABSSPF2014
4715UnknownWArm in EzekielPan AmericanABSR22014
4723Luiz PanzaLuiz PanzaWPts: 8x6Pan AmericanABSR32014
4793Sadayoshi KurimoriWChoke from backPan American88KGR12014
4802Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 4x2Pan American88KG1/4F2014
4803Rodrigo PimpolhoWTriangle armbarPan American88KGSF2014
4868Stephen MartinezWArm in ezekielFIVE Cali. 1ABS1/4F2014
4870Lance GlynnWPointsFIVE Cali. 1ABSSF2014
4872Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesWPts: 4x0FIVE Cali. 1ABSF2014
5007R. EvangelistaR. EvangelistaWChoke from backWorld Pro.ABSR12014
5020Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaWPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Pro.ABS1/4F2014
5049Leonardo MacielWOmoplataWorld Pro.94KGR12014
5050Jackson SousaJackson SousaWChoke from backWorld Pro.94KG1/4F2014
5071Carlos EduardoWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.ABSR12014
5090Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 6x4World Champ.ABSRD 42014
5095Leo NogueiraLeo NogueiraWTriangleWorld Champ.ABS1/4F2014
5197Maciel TrindadeWTriangleWorld Champ.88KGRDS2014
5240Vinny MagalhaesVinny MagalhaesD---Metamoris 4ABSSPF2014
5270Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWTriangleSF OpenABSF2014
5304UnknownWInverted armbarAmerican Nat.88KG1/4F2014
5305Ignacio NetoWArmbarAmerican Nat.88KGSF2014
5307Eduardo TellesEduardo TellesWPts: 0x0, AdvAmerican Nat.88KGF2014
5353Abraham MarteAbraham MarteWPts: 2x2, AdvNo Gi WorldsABSRDS2014
5358James PuopoloJames PuopoloWPts: 8x2No Gi WorldsABS1/4F2014
5360Garry TononGarry TononWPts: 23x2No Gi WorldsABSSF2014
5386Ricardo RezendeRicardo RezendeWNorth South chokeNo Gi Worlds88KGR12014
5387Tanner RiceTanner RiceWKneebarNo Gi Worlds88KG1/4F2014
5391Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 2x0No Gi Worlds88KGSF2014
5393Arnaldo MaidanaWDarce chokeNo Gi Worlds88KGF2014
5433Roberto AlencarRoberto AlencarWPts: 12x0Pro League94KGSF2014
5435Jackson SousaJackson SousaWReferee DecisionPro League94KGF2014
5541Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesD---Metamoris 5ABSSPF2014
5635Dean ListerDean ListerWInverted trianglePolarisABSSPF2015
5969Elliot KellyWChoke from backPan AmericanABSR22015
5974Tim SpriggsTim SpriggsWReferee DecisionPan AmericanABSR32015
6066Jared LawtonWTrianglePan American88KGR22015
6071Renato CardosoRenato CardosoWPts: 5x2Pan American88KG1/4F2015
6075Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 4x0Pan American88KGSF2015
6169Marcos SouzaMarcos SouzaWPts: 12x2Marianas OpenABS1/4F2015
6172Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 4x2Marianas OpenABSSF2015
6173Mike FowlerMike FowlerWChoke from backMarianas OpenABSF2015
6290William DiasWPts: 6x4World Pro85KGR12015
6300Victor SilverioVictor SilverioWArmbarWorld Pro85KGR22015
6307Clark GracieClark GracieWPts: 7x0World Pro85KG1/4F2015
6311AJ SousaAJ SousaWPts: 3x0World Pro85KG3RD2015
6361Fabio GalebWTriangleWorld ProABSR12015
6364Tarsis HumphreysTarsis HumphreysWPts: 2x0World ProABSR22015
6370Felipe PenaFelipe PenaWPts: 2x2, AdvWorld ProABS1/4F2015
6525Carlos FariasWTriangleWorld Champ.ABSR12015
6637Alan RegisWTriangle armbarWorld Champ.94KG1/8F2015
6859Otavio SouzaWPts: 4x0FIVE SLABSSPF2015
7004Jesse UrholinWPts: 3x0ADCC88KGR12015
7007Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 2x0ADCC88KG1/4F2015
7011Rustam ChsievWReferee DecisionADCC88KGSF2015
7170Omar SabhaWChoke from backDallas Open94KGSF2015
7171Thiago XimenesWArm in EzekielDallas OpenABS1/4F2015
7172Philip MillerWSubmissionDallas OpenABSSF2015
7174Arnaldo MaidanaWArmbarDallas OpenABSF2015
7891Magid HageWPts: 6x0US National Pro85KGSF2016
7892William NymanWTriangleUS National Pro85KGF2016
7896Jason YousephWTriangleUS National ProABSSF2016
7898Joseph MokuWTriangleUS National ProABSF2016

Keenan Cornelius vs Gianni Grippo

Keenan Cornelius vs Morris Ayala

Keenan Cornelius vs João Miyao

Digitsu Free BJJ Techniques

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


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