Rickson Gracie believes jiu-jitsu has “lost its capacity” in today’s MMA. | Photo: Denis Martins


More than a decade has passed since Rickson Gracie competed in mixed martial arts, but the 52-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt still holds a prominent place in the minds and hearts of most hardcore fans. Gracie last fought at an event in Japan in May 2000, when he choked Pancrase co-founder Masakatsu Funaki unconscious with a rear-naked choke in a little less than 13 minutes. He walked away from the sport with a perfect 11-0 mark, with all 11 victories by way of submission.

In this exclusive interview with Sherdog.com, Gracie discussed the impact of UFC 134 on Brazil, his recent participation in the Bintang Black Belt Challenge -- a surfing championship for jiu-jitsu black belts -- and, perhaps most importantly, the state of the ground game in modern-day MMA.


Gracie: I see it as a new race of fighter developing, something that’s been invented. There are no more style matchups. Now, everyone knows everything. It’s about the strengths of the individual. The time of fights was shortened, the weights were equalized and technology was incorporated into training. There is no more romanticism in seeing a smaller guy fight a bigger guy for two hours. Thinking of that, I believe jiu-jitsu has lost the capacity to be put into practice in today’s MMA, because it’s an art you have to wait for the right moment with. Now, MMA is a sport for the better-prepared fighter, the guy who can absorb more punches and still win. There’s still an admiration for the art by those who practice it, but there’s a decline in how it’s working in MMA. My motivation is completely focused on the concept. That’s where I believe I can make a difference: in making the shy kid feel normal, in making the weak woman believe she’s strong. I want people to have a sense of self-defense and a concept of the invisible power. That’s where jiu-jitsu will achieve its eternity.


Gracie: There’s always that longing to fight, but I’m motivated by everything I’ve done so far. Nowadays, I have responsibilities that motivate me more than trying to live something I’ve already lived. Today, my focus is on remembering the people of jiu-jitsu and the philosophy that comes with the practice. It’s not directed at competition but at self-defense, self-confidence, discipline and emotional control. The values you learn are priceless.


Gracie: It was very nice -- a Brazilian night. Guys fought really well. [Antonio Rodrigo] “Minotauro” [Nogueira], Anderson [Silva], [Mauricio] “Shogun” [Rua] ... everyone had a good role. And to feel the emotion that you only can feel in Brazil, where you have this human warmth, was great. I enjoyed taking part in a night like that.


Gracie: The Brazilians had a great night. They were pushed by the crowd and were well-prepared. I loved Minotauro. He’s a lion of a veteran. He was well-prepared physically and mentally, and he shut a lot of people’s mouths. Anderson showed his skills, which was no surprise. I expected that. Thiago Tavares was great, as was [Rousimar] “Toquinho” [Palhares]. Everyone showed the desire to win, and I congratulate them.


Gracie: It was fair recognition. They are developing a great work with marketing, but everything is our creation. It’s not only about Brazilian fighters but about the concept and the Brazilian spirit behind it. They’re not re-inventing the wheel, and we have the resources needed to make the same kind of show as they have. We have human material and an interested audience, and now we also have the media vehicles needed to integrate them. We can have a Brazilian UFC, which is more important than recognizing the actions of others.


Gracie: I lost this time, but it was very cool to see the fellowship and to be with my friends on the ocean. It’s incredible to be in such a beautiful place like Prainha surfing with friends. There are no winners or losers there.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Urijah Faber questions Conor McGregor’s heart: ‘If his body is in danger, he gives up’

  • 24 days ago
  • 344 views

UFC star Urijah Faber believes Conor McGregor lacks heart and checks out of fights when he is in trouble. According to Urijah Faber, when the going gets tough, Conor McGregor is the first one to look read news >>

UFC Fight Night 64: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2 Post-Fight Press Conference Video Replay

  • 25 days ago
  • 71 views

The marquee winners fielded questions from the media following at the UFC Fight Night 64: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2 post-fight press conference following Saturday's event in Krakow. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 64 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC on Fox 15

  • 25 days ago
  • 7 views

UFC Fight Night 64 is in the books. The results are as follows: Mirko Cro Cop def. Gabriel Gonzaga, TKO (Round 3, 3:30) Jimi Manuwa def. Jan Blachowicz, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Pawel read news >>

Video: Fighter and Referee Argue Whether Opponent is Unconscious

  • 25 days ago
  • 56 views

Bellator 136's Chad George showed off some fairly slick jiu-jitsu skills when he put the Von Flue choke on Mark Vorgeas for the submission win. But the finish unfortunately came a lot later than expe read news >>

UFC Fight Night 64 Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Forrest Griffin Q&A Video Replay

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin fielded questions from the fans in Krakow on Friday. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 64 Q&A with Joanna Jedrzejczyk

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and possibly other guest fighters, will answer questions from the fans at the UFC Fight Niht 64 Q&A on Friday morning. read news >>

Iaquinta questions judge who scored bout for Masvidal: I knew Doug Crosby ‘wasn't giving me nothing’

  • 28 days ago
  • 112 views

UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta explains why he was disappointed to see judge Doug Crosby score his bout against Jorge Masvidal. read news >>

Out-of-competition testing for Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice brings unanswered questions

  • 29 days ago
  • 327 views

We know there will be some extra drug testing for Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock. But there still are some unanswered questions around just how that will go down. Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rumors, New read news >>

The MMA Hour - 276 - Fan questions

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

Ariel Helwani and Eric Jackman answer fan questions on The MMA Hour. read news >>