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 189 Video Preview: I Can't Wait for Mendes vs McGregor

  • 23 days ago
  • 16 views

Bloody Elbow's Connor Ruebusch lays out the questions we have about Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes, and the answers we hope to find in UFC 189. read news >>

Kywan Gracie Behring, the last man to beat “The Notorious”, breaks down Conor McGregor’s jiu-jitsu skillls

  • 24 days ago
  • 115 views

Conor McGregor hasn’t lost a MMA fight since 2010, but that was not the last time he was defeated. Competing at the European Open No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2012, "The Notorious" couldn’t get pa read news >>

UFC 189: Biggest Questions That Will Be Answered in Saturday's PPV

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Considering how much the UFC product has felt subpar of late, building up excitement for the major events on the calendar has felt more of a chore than a natural emotional reaction. With UFC 189, tha read news >>

UFC 189's Conor McGregor is just 26 and already 'holds every record in the game'

  • 25 days ago
  • 6 views

Once again, Conor McGregor dominated the questions and media attention at Thursday's (July 9, 2015) UFC 189 press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The chatty Irish fighter said he is the sole reason read news >>

Dana White: UFC 189 passed U.S. gate record following McGregor-Mendes announcement

  • 27 days ago
  • 40 views

The sense of disappointment when Jose Aldo had to drop out of his scheduled UFC 189 main event against Conor McGregor due to a broken rib was widespread. But the idea this would be a deathblow proved read news >>

The MMA Hour - 289 - Fan questions

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Ariel Helwani and Eric Jackman answer fan questions and tweets. read news >>

UFC 189 preview: Five burning questions for 'Mendes vs. McGregor' PPV in Las Vegas

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the pay-per-view (PPV) platform this Saturday night (July 11, 2015) with a stacked UFC 189 fight card, featuring title fights in both the featherweight read news >>

Jose Aldo’s out-of-competition drug test comes back clean

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

Jose Aldo passed his pre-UFC 189 out-of-competition drug test. The first and only UFC featherweight champion was randomly tested on June 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, tested negative for prohibited s read news >>

Charles Oliveira plans to take advantage of Holloway's 'not so sharp' Jiu-Jitsu

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Charles Oliveira believes he is better than Max Holloway and on the ground and will look to pressure him into fighting his fight at UFC Fight Night 74. After 13 UFC fights, Charles Oliveira will fina read news >>

Jose Aldo passed controversial out-of-competition UFC 189 test

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Jose Aldo was negative for steroids and other performance-enhancers after a botched out-of-competition test conducted this past month by the NSAC in connection with Saturday’s UFC 189.Filed under: Ne read news >>