Robert Diggle, commonly known as Robert Degle, is a jiu-jitsu black belt under Brandon Bennett of the Renzo Gracie Academy, who worked extensively with coaches such as John Danaher, Gregg Depasquale, and Milton Regis. Diggle made a name for himself in the sport, competing almost exclusively in no-gi grappling in the New York circuit, gaining national notoriety after his flawless performance at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) American National Championship of 2021, where he submitted all his opponents.
Robert Diggle Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Robert Anthony Diggle
Nickname: In the sport of jiu-jitsu, Robert is mostly known as “Robert Degle”. The confusion regarding his real family name (Diggle) was addressed by the black belt when questioned by BJJ Heroes for the purpose of his bio, in August 2021. According to Robert, after he finished his bachelor’s degree at Queens College, City University of New York, he started applying to Ph.D. programs. As he did not want the universities he was applying for to find out his alternative lifestyle, he opted to change his tag name on social media. In an unexpected twist of circumstances, his social media started gaining traction soon after and more professional opportunities appeared for him in jiu-jitsu’s pro-circuit during this period. As fans already knew him has Degle, he opted against changing the social media presence back to his real family name.
- 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2021 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Atlanta Open NOGI (2021 brown)
- 12x Grappling Industries Champion (2018-2020)
Favorite Position/Technique: Heel Hook
Weight Division: Peso Leve (73.5 kg / 162.5 lbs)
Team/Association: Renzo Gracie Academy
Robert Diggle Biography
Robert Diggle was born on February 13, 1992, on Long Island, New York where he grew up. Although born and raised in the USA, Robert is a dual citizen (Italian-American) by way of his grandfather.
As a child, Diggle was a football (soccer) fan and practitioner, playing the sport extensively but merely for recreational purposes. Later, at the age of 13, Robert added wrestling to his daily activities, competing extensively in this ancient combat sport up until 10th grade when a broken clavicle bone forced him away from the mats.
During his formative years, while watching mixed martial arts (MMA) develop, Diggle became growingly invested in the sport, taking a particular interest in athletes such as BJ Penn and Shinya Aoki who had strong jiu-jitsu backgrounds. Although curious to try BJJ, Diggle struggled with the cost of tuition in the area. At the age of 18, however, Robert found a part-time job that granted him the funds to start training jiu-jitsu, first with Chris Schlesinger and later at Kioto with coach Milton Regis.
Having been a great fan of philosophy since his early teens, Diggle joined Stony Brook University, in New York, after high school, to pursue a degree in philosophy. While spending time at Stony Brook, Robert started training at the university’s mat room, where a few students trained under the guidance of Krishna Mirjah, this included one special practitioner that would become an influential figure in Diggle’s evolution in the sport at a later stage, Mr. Eddie Cummings.
The experience at Stony Brook, however, was short-lived. Diggle was focussing more on gi work at the time and for that reason, he decided to join Vitor Shaolin’s gym in Manhattan, one of the prime BJJ academies in the country, while also training with Gregg Depasquale, who promoted Diggle to purple belt.
Being a big fan of MMA, a sport that Robert experimented with between 2014-2015, led Diggle to Masakazu Imanari. The Japanese fighter’s flamboyant combat style fascinated the young New Yorker, particularly his creative leg-lock game. This sparked the interest in lower-limb submissions in Robert, ultimately leading him to join the Renzo Gracie Academy of leg-lock expert coach John Danaher. At RGA Robert became re-acquainted with Eddie Cummings who was, at the time, one of Danaher’s prime students.
At the time of Diggle joining Danaher’s training room, the New Yorker was completing his undergraduate bachelor’s degree in philosophy at CUNY Queens College, after which he started applying for Ph.D. programs. Understanding the grappling potential held by Robert, RGA team member Brandon Bennet, and coach John Danaher greatly incentivized and helped Diggle pursuit a career in jiu-jitsu instead of philosophy.
Diggle earned his brown belt from coach Danaher, but as John relocated to Puerto Rico with many of the team’s pro-athletes, Robert remained in the New York area, earning his black belt from Brandon Bennett on August 09, 2021.
Robert Degle Grappling Record
- BY DQ
22 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
1 SUBMISSION LOSSES
Robert Degle Fight History
|27352||Deandre CorbeDeandre Corbe||L||Pts: 2x0||Newbreed||71KG||F||2021|
|27605||D. Groot||L||Pts: 2x2, Pen||GI Amsterdam||70KG||RR||2021|
|28238||Kamil Wilk||L||Referee Decision||Polaris 17||70KG||SPF||2021|
|28645||Emilio HernandezEmilio Hernandez||L||Pts: 0x0, Pen||ADCC EC Trials||66KG||R2||2021|
|29629||Ashley WilliamsAshley Williams||L||RNC||Grapple Kings||73KG||SPF||2021|
|27350||Timothy Johnson||W||Inside heel hook||Newbreed||71KG||SF||2021|
|27355||Omar Lane||W||Inside heel hook||Newbreed||76KG||SF||2021|
|27356||Deandre CorbeDeandre Corbe||W||Pts: 4x2||Newbreed||76KG||F||2021|
|27601||Jan Brand||W||Inside heel hook||GI Amsterdam||70KG||RR||2021|
|27602||Guillaume Prada||W||Inside heel hook||GI Amsterdam||70KG||RR||2021|
|27603||Jesse Comer||W||Inside heel hook||GI Amsterdam||70KG||RR||2021|
|27604||Bart Dubbeldam||W||Inside heel hook||GI Amsterdam||70KG||RR||2021|
|28276||Davis Giadoo||W||RNC||G.I. Austin||70KG||RR||2021|
|28277||Sean Bleamaster||W||Heel hook||G.I. Austin||70KG||RR||2021|
|28278||Ryan Ruiz||W||RNC||G.I. Austin||70KG||RR||2021|
|28279||Gabriel Litman||W||Heel hook||G.I. Austin||70KG||RR||2021|
|28560||Jose Fernandez||W||Submission||G.I. Boston||70KG||RR||2021|
|28561||Ben Deschenes||W||Reverse triangle||G.I. Boston||70KG||RR||2021|
|28562||R. Shaughnessy||W||Inside heel hook||G.I. Boston||70KG||RR||2021|
|28632||Jason Valle||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC EC Trials||66KG||R1||2021|
|29536||A. Auriemma||W||Pts: 10x0||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29537||Joseph Ronan||W||Heel hook||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29538||Nathan Ray||W||Heel hook||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29539||Nicholas Toscano||W||Heel hook||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29651||Andrew Auriemma||W||Pts: 10x0||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29652||Joseph Ronan||W||Inside heel hook||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29653||Nathan Ray||W||Inside heel hook||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29654||Nicholas Toscano||W||Inside heel hook||Grappling Ind.||77KG||RR||2021|
|29663||Dylan Spyer||W||Pts: 7x0||NAGA Austin||72KG||4F||2022|
|29664||Jay Little||W||Mikey lock||NAGA Austin||72KG||SF||2022|
|29665||Zade Anbar||W||Inside heel hook||NAGA Austin||72KG||F||2022|