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Roger Gracie to Beef Up Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Division

(Gracie locks an armbar onto Ron Waterman during his MMA debut at BodogFight: USA vs. Russia in December 2006. Photo courtesy of golpedirecto.)

According to a new report on, jiu-jitsu savant Roger Gracie is close to signing a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce. CEO Scott Coker claims that negotations with Gracie are "pretty much done," and he plans to start off the 27-year-old heavyweight competitor in a Challenger Series event this fall. Said Coker: "We’re going to see if we can create some awareness with him, see how he does fighting-wise, and take it from there. We’re going to give him every opportunity to crossover into MMA. He’s going to have plenty of time to see if he really likes to do it."

Of course, if you’re a follower of competitive grappling, you’re already very aware of Gracie’s body of work…

The grandson of BJJ co-founder Carlos Gracie, Roger has been winning grappling competitions for the last 10 years. Most notably, he took first place in the Under-99kg and Open-Weight categories at the 2005 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship; during his run in the Open-Weight bracket, he tapped out Shinya Aoki, Fabricio Werdum, Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro, and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. He’s tested the waters of MMA twice so far, and was successful both times, with his most recent win coming via first-round rear-naked-choke against Yuki Kondo last May at Sengoku: Second Battle. Visual evidence of Gracie’s awesomeness is below. Future Strikeforce champion?

(Gracie vs. Jacare, ADCC 2005)

(Gracie vs. Kondo, Sengoku 2)

(Gracie vs. Waterman, BodogFight)

Cagepotato Comments

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jaileer- May 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm
Renzo has been pretty successful.
Frank Mur- May 14, 2009 at 3:42 am
Wasn't Gonzaga's BJJ "off the chain"? I don't think jui jitsu is gonna help out too much if you can't take gettin your face knuckled up. Lets see how his stand up is before we start touting him as the next talented HW. BTW just because you're a Gracie, doesn't make you an elite fighter. Gracies are good at Jui Jitsu, that's it! The only Gracie to ever excel at this sport (MMA, not bjj tourneys) was Royce, and I would venture to say the reason for that was the unfamiliarity of his competetors with the sport of Jui Jitsu. Here we are 16 years later and most people in the sport have realized this and evolved into rounded fighters, except Gracies.
With that said, imagine how truly aesome it would be if a heavyweight had Chuck's striking, Royce's BJJ, and Fujita's Skull! That would be a dangerous man.(sounds like Fedor)
IronClad- May 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm
I hear you, getting head from a normal person is awkward....i dont even want to think about it.
Perdew- May 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm
remember there is another promising gracie in mma right now. Ralek. 2-0 in HEROS and DREAM.
Blumpkin- May 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm
Only if it Isn't a Midget.
IronClad- May 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm
Isnt it awkward to get sucked off while taking a shit?
MIKERGANYC- May 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm
Roger could be great in MMA his bjj is off the chain
Blumpkin- May 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm
guess what....i need some more WEED!!
Mdollas- May 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm
LOL he pwned that big noob. He did a great job of controlling Waterman on the ground. It would be great to see some jiu-jitsu talent in the Heavy Weight Div. , can't be sure it will carry him all the way to a belt though ^^
ScrambledEggs- May 13, 2009 at 2:00 pm
Roger won't be the only Gracie in Strikeforce. Royce is going to have at least 1 fight in Strikeforce and Renzo will almost certainly fight 1 more time.
NECROPHYTE- May 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm
It would be kool to have a Gracie in MMA again. Renzo ain't really active anymore.
Redmoose- May 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm
That's right, I said cry instead of weep.
Redmoose- May 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm
Read it and cry bitches!