Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We Need Another Gracie.


Grapplers, most of you are aware that Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie are now set to face off for UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi on April 10, 2010. Both are well past their prime, and neither is relevant in the MMA world, but we're DSTRYRsg and we don't talk about MMA, unless it relates to grappling. So, we leave it to the droves of MMA pundits to discuss those issues.

Our issue is simple: we need another Gracie to represent in MMA. Renzo is 43 and Royce and Royler are 44. These guys should really be done - they've done enough for the Gracie family in MMA. Someone else, with the appropriate surname, needs to don on their trusty Speedo-brief and step up. Roger and Ralek have dabbled, but these guys don't seem to want it and neither has fought in almost 2 years.

Maybe the era is gone and the current Gracie clan members just don't want it. Maybe there isn't enough money and/or prestige to make the risk worthwhile. But, it's still a shame - they were there from the beginning and their name is still synonymous with the sport. As a jiu jitsu guy, I'd love to see the legend continue.

And, as an aside: We definitely don't need another Shamrock.


  1. Renzo may be old, but I would love to see him beat Matt "Bible Thumping" Hughes. Who is the favorite for this fight anyways?

  2. I don't know that we need another Gracie, there are tons of guys coming from a Jiu Jitsu background and making noise all over the world. The Gracie's certantly played a huge role in the development of MMA, but it's more important to see good fights and fighters than it is to see people named Gracie.

    Beyond that there are several younger Gracies that will probably fight this year including Rolles Gracie(who's fighting on the next UFC card), Roger(who's supposed to fight for Strikeforce this year), and Igor and Gregor who will probably fight this year.

  3. Yeah, I'm surprised you didn't mention Rolles, who seemed to do ok in Art of War.

    Also, as far as I'm aware, Roger is stepping up his MMA commitment, given the shift to training half the year with Renzo over in NY.

    Again from what I've read and heard, he would have fought a little while ago, if he hadn't gotten injured and become a father last year.

  4. Good point, dokomoy. My premise wasn't to say we need more Gracies at the exclusion of other great BJJ fighters. I'm a huge supporter of guys like Andre Galvao, Jacare and Damien Maia in MMA. I agree, they are the ones advancing BJJ/submission grappling in MMA.

    As for Rolles (to slidyfoot and dokomoy) - my bad for completely omitting him (especially with his UFC debut coming up). I'm not sure if he world class yet, especially given his minimal background in AOW and IFL. Let's see what he can do.

    I was really making a minimal (and not very serious) commentary on the fact that the old guard of Gracie family are aging, yet they are still propped up in the public eye (probably because we all recognize them). Case in point: Renzo vs. Hughes. But, we've seen it many times over in recent years when Royler stepped up in Pride and DREAM, and Royce in FieLDS Dynamite! and UFC.

    Thanks for the great comments, guys!

  5. I guess Renzo makes a lot of sense from a marketing point of view: speaking personally, this is the first time in years I've seriously considered buying a UFC PPV.

    Then again, I'm part of the BJJ audience, so naturally I'm interested. I'm not sure if that audience is significant enough to warrant the UFC marketing toward it specifically.

    Or does Renzo have broader name recognition than just BJJers and those who might remember him from PRIDE and the IFL? Perhaps I'm underestimating the average MMA fan.

  6. We may see flashes of brilliance from the next generation of Gracies in modern MMA, but it will never be like it was in the 1990s.
    Why? The secret of BJJ is no longer a secret. The Gracies dominated because they all knew something no one else did.

  7. True, although the interesting difference with the new generation of Gracies is that they're really damn big. Previously, R. Gracie was always a small guy (though I guess Rickson wasn't exactly weedy).