Icon Jiu-Jitsu in Slough is a place that work gets down under BJJ Black Belt coach Ze Marcelo, one of his students that is becoming a force on the grappling scene is just an 8-year-old, not just any 8-year-old, this yellow belt is setting himself for unbelievable heights. Young Ilyas started when he was only 5 years old. He was attracted to MMA through the exposure of the UFC. Khabib Nurmagomedov and his grappling heavy game were what attracted him, he started wrestling before he was doing BJJ. At this young age he has already won the Kid Pan Am, NAGA, Elite BJJ World Junior Championships, he’s won every title at his age group and weight, English, National, Gi and NoGi, just when you were thinking he’s already very accomplished he’s also British Wrestling and English wrestling championship. His win streak is 121-0 in grappling, has roughly an 80% rate. This puts him in an elite category of his own, I joked with his parents that he is only 38 more wins away from the illustrious 159-0 NCAA Division I record set by Cael Sanderson. For 2020 he wants to retain his undefeated streak and he’s wanting to continue his run, he’s on the verge of getting on the Great Britain Wrestling Squad, he’s a natural sportsman at just 8 years old. The sky is the limit for his potential, he’s already venturing into striking martial arts such as Muay Thai and Boxing.
He’ll eventually try MMA due to his obsession with the art of grappling, with his Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling it means that he will mix them together well. He doesn’t get confused with the two grappling sports, successful due to switching up to know when to use certain techniques from certain disciplines, a killer on the mat. When he competes, man young males end up in tears as they believe he’s a girl and they realise that it is a boy that has defeated them, due to his non-threatening demeanour and long hair, this happens often. He has the best of both grappling abilities, his pressure grappling transitions easily into BJJ when on top. At 8 years old he was the youngest yellow belt in the country, he has this confidence that he is the best there is and there are amazing kids on the circuit, he’s largely targeted for super fights with other top kids but he feels prepared for this, he’s constantly training like an athlete. He’s training a lot, when he does his schoolwork poorly, he won’t train, he views training like playing a game console. This is the level of dedication from such a young lad, everyone has goals in their life and he is set on a lifelong goal already.
Dedicated, love for the sport and his passion for the sport – he wants to be an all-time great