Sunday, February 7, 2010

Follow Up: The Great Gracie Hope He Ain't.

This dude did not seem like any kind of Gracie Hunter to me. Rolles just choked.

My last entry here was more of a light-hearted commentary on the fact that Renzo's still fighting for the Gracie name and reputation at age 44. But, in my commenting, I failed to mention Rolles Gracie's upcoming UFC debut. I received some comments from the DSTRYR readership on this and took some well deserved criticism for my omission.

HOWEVER, after Saturday night's pitiful showing against a pretty much unknown, but game and burly Joey Beltran at UFC 109, I don't think MMA has much to worry about from Rolles. As much as I wanted to see the son of the great Rolls Gracie (Sr.) beat some ass, he looked sloppy and out of shape. He seemed to lack skills on all levels: poor takedowns, poor stand-up and sadly, poor jiu jitsu. Needless to say, I was particularly dissapponted in his grappling, given his pedigree and competition history in BJJ*.

I hope Rolles improves and does something in the sport and I have to commend any fighter, especially a BJJ guy, for fighting MMA on that level. That being said, I think the last comments from some you hit the nail on the head - MMA really doesn't need new Gracies (or old ones). BJJ is producing some great, non-Gracie related fighters at the highest level of MMA. Case in point, Damien Maia, who made a solid showing on Saturday. There are so many other fighters at the top of the pro-levels in MMA with BJJ as their initial fighting discipline (e.g., Penn, Galvao, Jacare).

Sorry, Rolles.

* Grapplers, I know it's not an even comparison between BJJ/grappling in MMA and straight sport BJJ/grappling. But, c'mon now. Know what I mean?


  1. Yeah, from the clips I saw on the net, that wasn't much of a performance. Very disappointing.

    Still, it was only his first fight in the UFC, so perhaps he just crumbled under the expectations and big audience. After all, he looked much better in his previous fights, so hopefully he'll be able to come back stronger (if they let him back).

    We'll see if Roger can redeem the family name in Strikeforce (though I agree that there are plenty of great BJJers representing in MMA, so it certainly isn't necessary to have someone there with the last name 'Gracie').

  2. Watched the first round and left the bar. He looked flabby, out of shape, gassed, and lacking in jits, standup, and takedowns. Maybe nerves?? I hope there's some explanation like that.

    I was happy with Paulo Thiago's napination of Swick. And I was impressed with Maia's technical striking (though I wanted it to be a ground battle...)

  3. Yeah, what was up with his take down shoots? They almost looked like he'd shoot in and then just lay there. But then again, I am sue he could probably kick my butt a million times without breaking a sweat.

  4. On a related note, I guess Nate Marquardt is a black belt in jiu jitsu? Aside from one sweep (albeit a great one) at the end of round 3 his guard looked pathetic. What is up with these BJJ black belts in MMA keeping a low guard and never once attempting a submission when their opponent's posture is as bad as Chael Sonnen's was? Its kind of mind-boggling.

  5. Not that this excuses him, but couple of related stories popping up on the web. First, Renzo says on Graciefighter he was embarassed, but that it was down to the pressure:

    "It was embarrasing", lamented the legendary fighter/coach. "I can tell you he wasn't in that bad of shape. Fact is the nerves drained him of his energy. His stand up and ground work looked bad, nothing at all like he was doing in training leading up to the fight and it was if he couldn't hear what I was telling him. I think the pressure he put on himself overwhelmed him." He'll learn and be back."

    Then Braulio has this to say:

    Estima worked with Gracie and said the UFC newcomer was injured and unable to train.

    "His performance was nowhere near what we expected and what he expected," Estima said. "He had a lot of injuries in training. He hurt his rib and that stopped him training for a while. But he was very excited to do it and he put a lot of pressure on himself. It wasn't the best decision to fight."

  6. Excellent follow-up, Can. Thanks for that!

    I hope it's true.

    The guy just showed us nothing. Hopefully, he'll get another chance to display his talents.