If you do not know who Denny Prokopos is you probably aren’t a part of the grappling world. He was the first person to be promoted to black belt under American grappling legend Eddie Bravo. The lineage is an impressive one and definitely something to be proud of.
Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Rickson Gracie > Jean Jacques Machado > Eddie Bravo > Denny Prokopos
As I said, definitely something to be proud of.
Denny is the kind of guy that appears to be training all day. While the rest of the world is posting pictures of their kids, new toys, and plates of food – Denny is posting pictures of himself putting in work and more often than not it involves kettle bells that increase in size as the week goes on. This work ethic is probably a large part of why he has the list of accomplishments that he does. Here are some of them…
- World Nogi Champion (2007 brown belt)
- FILA Grappling World Champion (2010)
- NAGA Arnold Grappling Champion (2009)
- World Nogi Bronze Medallist (2009)
- Grapplers Quest 3rd Place (2008)
- Pan American Bronze Medallist (2004 blue belt)
- USA Grappling Open Bronze Medallist (2007)
- EBI 2 Champion 2014
- 2017 CJJ Special Match winner
- 2020 Submission Underground 19 winner
I’ve gotten to know Denny somewhat and I can tell you he is a funny guy and he’s also very smart. I started off the conversation asking him when his next competition was and who it was with and the answer he gave me was absolutely epic.
Me vs Chael Sonnen when he grows a pair of balls.
Prokopos is likely only half joking since he competed and won in the Submission Underground organization.
The events are presented by Sonnen and air on UFC Fight Pass. I have no doubt if Uncle Chael agreed to a grappling match with Prokopos he would accept immediately. He has called out Sonnen in creative ways many times.
Some of the great grapplers of the past have told me that once you make a name for yourself you have a target on your back. I asked Denny if he felt the same way and I got another epic answer.
No one wants to be me I’m the crazy motherf**er!.
I wouldn’t say crazy but I would agree to the word intense.
We started discussing his actual training routine and it is what you would expect from someone who describes himself in that way.
I train all night and day. My routine wouldn’t make sense to anyone else but it is something I have set for myself. It’s hard to explain so if anyone wants to see what it is they can just follow my Instagram @dennyprokopos. I show everything and I hide nothing.
Denny is also a businessman and stays busy on the rare occasions he is not in the gym.
I have an instructional series coming out, multiple ones with my coach Mark Reifkind and BJJ Fanatics. Be on the lookout for it.
He and I have had some discussions in the past about what he has achieved and one thing he feels stands out more than anything is receiving his 3rd degree black belt from grandmaster Jean Jacques Machado. Should Chael Sonnen ever accept his challenge that accomplishment might be up there, too.
When I asked him what he had going on for 2021 he was very cryptic.
Nothing and everything, and everything and nothing.
If you know Denny at all then you could say that was a very Denny Prokopos answer. He is such a focused and intense dude that when you are speaking to him he probably has three other plans forming in his head.
From time to time he will share stories or information about those who have helped him along the way, or those he looks up to. When asked directly who he drew inspiration from it was an easy answer from him. There are some very familiar names here to MMA fans.
God, family, Jean Jacques Machado, Caio Terra, Jake Shields, David Terrell, Gilbert Melendez, Yuri Simones, and Mason Fowler to name a few.
I highly recommend that you follow Denny on social media if you are interested in mixed martial arts, grappling, or just want to follow somebody who will definitely entertain you. He’s a mixture of Joe Rogan and Eddie Bravo as he was described to me by my son. That’s a compliment because my son loves both of those guys.
We would like to thank Denny for his time and his support.