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

UFC Fight Night 93 Q&A: Matt Hughes, Neil Magny and Karolina Kowalkiewicz Video Replay

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Hall of Fame's Matt Hughes, Neil Magny, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz fielded questions prior to Friday's UFC Fight Night: Arlvoski vs. Barnett weigh-in. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 93 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC 203

  • 26 days ago
  • 12 views

UFC Fight Night 93 is in the books. The results are as follows: Josh Barnett defeated Andrei Arlovski via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:53 of the third round. Alexander Gustafsson defeated Jan B read news >>

Cody Garbrandt UFC 203 Q&A Video Replay | MMAWeekly.com

  • 21 days ago
  • 14 views

Undefeated bantamweight Cody Garbrandt fielded questions from the fans in Cleveland prior to the UFC 203 weigh-in on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. read news >>

UFC 203 Post-Fight Press Conference Streams Live Following the Event | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 19 views

The stars from UFC 203 will field questions from the media during the post-fight press conference, immediately after the event on MMAWeekly.com. read news >>

Homeless Man Writes Joanne Calderwood a Thank You Note After UFC 203 Experience

  • 19 days ago
  • 258 views

Joanne Calderwood competed, and lost, on the UFC 203 card in Cleveland, but good-hearted people will always come out on top. Calderwood posted to her Facebook and Instagram accounts Sunday afternoon read news >>

UFC 203 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC Fight Night 94

  • 18 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC 203 is in the books. The results are as follows: UFC 203 Main Card Stipe Miocic def. Alistair Overeem, knockout (Round 1, 4:27) Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne, unanimous decision (29-27, 29-2 read news >>

UFC 203 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC Fight Night 94

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC 203 is in the books. The results are as follows: UFC 203 Main Card Stipe Miocic def. Alistair Overeem, knockout (Round 1, 4:27) Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne, unanimous decision (29-27, 29-2 read news >>

Homeless Man Writes Joanne Calderwood a Thank You Note After UFC 203 Experience

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

Joanne Calderwood competed, and lost, on the UFC 203 card in Cleveland, but good-hearted people will always come out on top. Calderwood posted to her Facebook and Instagram accounts Sunday afternoon read news >>

Kenny Florian's Brother Found Dead | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 499 views

The brother of UFC commentator and former title contender Kenny Florian passed away on Sunday. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 94 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 95

  • 12 days ago
  • 12 views

UFC Fight Night 94 is in the books. The results are as follows: Main Card on Fox Sports 1 Michael Johnson def. Dustin Poirier, knockout (Round 1, 1:35) Derek Brunson def. Uriah Hall, TKO (Round 1, 1: read news >>