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 86 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC on Fox 19

  • 19 days ago
  • 7 views

UFC Fight Night 86 is in the books. The results are as follows (via Bleacher Report's own Craig Amos): UFC Fight Night 86 Main Card Junior Dos Santos def. Ben Rothwell, unanimous decision (50-45, 50- read news >>

MMA Fighter Joao Carvalho Dies After TKO Loss in Dublin, Promotion Issues Statement

  • 18 days ago
  • 67 views

Portuguese welterweight Joao Carvalho tragically passed away on Monday night at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, following a TKO loss to Charlie Ward. read news >>

Rizin VP Jerry Millen Talks About Rekindling the Days of Pride in Japanese MMA

  • 16 days ago
  • 11 views

After nearly a decade, the spirit of Pride FC returned last year with the newly formed RIZIN Fighting Federation promotion. read news >>

Is this the end for Rashad Evans?

  • 13 days ago
  • 60 views

After a devastating knockout loss, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans faces questions about the end of his career. He seems to be honestly and thoughtfully considering them, too. Beca read news >>

UFC on Fox 19 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC 197

  • 13 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC on Fox 19 is in the books. The results are as follows (c/o Craig Amos, PBP Man in Chief): UFC on Fox 19 Main Card Glover Teixeira def. Rashad Evans, knockout (Round 1, 1:48) Rose Namajunas def. T read news >>

Dana White: ‘I Think Rashad Evans is Probably Going to Retire’

  • 12 days ago
  • 77 views

Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans faces some tough questions looking ahead after suffering his second consecutive loss on Saturday. read news >>

Twitter Mailbag: Many ways of looking at Conor McGregor vs. UFC

  • 9 days ago
  • 24 views

This week’s Twitter Mailbag received an awful lot of questions on one particular topic. But don’t worry, UFC 197 doesn’t get completely forgotten in this week’s avalanche of McGregor Mail.Filed under read news >>

Jon Jones Questions Daniel Cormier Injury (UFC 197 Video)

  • 9 days ago
  • 11 views

Jon Jones expressed his doubt about the legitimacy of Daniel Cormier's injury at the UFC 197 Media Day in Las Vegas. read news >>

Legacy FC 54 results: Lovato claims vacant belt, Todhunter retires undefeated

  • 8 days ago
  • 13 views

Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Rafael Lovato toppled fellow submission ace Marcelo Nunes, scoring a second round TKO to claim Legacy FC’s vacant middleweight title.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News read news >>

UFC 197 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 87

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC 197 is in the books. The results are as follows, per Bleacher Report's Craig Amos: UFC 197 Main Card Jon Jones def. Ovince Saint Preux, unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45) Demetrious Johnson read news >>