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Tag: Ralek Gracie

Successes, Straw Men & False Choices: Looking Back (And Forward) in the Aftermath of Metamoris II


(Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu discusses his disappointing draw against Brendan Schaub, backstage after the event. Video via YouTube.com/CagePotato)

By Elias Cepeda

The six-match Metamoris II Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational card from two weekends ago produced some good action in a number of matches and not great action in others.

The main event, however, left everyone but Shinya Aoki satisfied. The Japanese MMA lightweight and submission ace went up against one of the top submission grappling competitors in the world, Kron Gracie.

The match produced the event’s only submission, with Shinya losing fast to Kron via guillotine choke. With how effective Aoki has been with submissions in MMA, it is fascinating to see him lose to Kron in a similar way to how he lost to all-time great Marcelo Garcia a few years ago at ADCC.

Shinya knows he can make his submissions work against guys who punch and kick him, whereas Kron and Marcelo have less assurance of that right now given their limited MMA experience. However, with strikes removed, Aoki is no match for the likes of Gracie and Garcia, likely because they are able to spend all of their training time on grappling, instead of having to split their time between that and the many other things you need to do in MMA.

The main event finished furiously and in exciting fashion but Kron and Aoki did spend the opening few minutes on their feet, hand fighting with not much happening. Apparently Kron wanted it to go to the ground, however, because eventually he chose to jump full guard in order to get it there.

Once Kron forced it to the ground, he made short work of the MMA fighter Aoki.

Stalling – The Controversy

Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu could have done the same against the vilified Brendan Schaub, but did not. I’m not saying that Schaub was going for the win in his match and one could criticize him for that, but he certainly isn’t the only one to blame for he and Abreu’s uneventful match.

“Cyborg” told us after the match that he was angry. Hell, he told everyone as much while still on the mat, criticizing Schaub for not engaging with him enough.

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Interview: Metamoris Founder Ralek Gracie Seeks a Return to the Pure Roots of BJJ


(Photo via Ricardo Bayona)

By Elias Cepeda

[Ed. note: This is the first in a series of interviews with the fighters and promoters behind Metamoris II: Gracie vs. Aoki, which goes down June 9th in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more, and follow Metamoris on Facebook and Twitter for important event updates.]

When your father invented the UFC and passed the name ‘Gracie’ down to you, there’s got to be a lot of pressure to become great at Jiu Jitsu and fighting. However, with two older brothers who got a head start on training because of age, Ralek Gracie had to wait a long time before he could even begin to compete with Ryron and Rener, the oldest sons of Rorian Gracie.

“I was probably eighteen or nineteen [before I could begin to compete with Ryron and Rener],” Ralek admits to CagePotato.

“It was rough, for sure. But getting through it made me who I am. Pressure creates diamonds. It absolutely made me tougher. You’re only as good as who you train with. They were competing with each other and then with me, so I got the best of both worlds. They sharpened themselves and then sharpened me. Life is about accepting that you are sharpening yourself along your journey, every day.”

Getting beaten up every day by your trained-to-kill older brothers made Ralek more than philosophical, however. It can be argued that it made him a mean son-of-a-gun when he needed to be, namely in fights.

With their “Gracie Breakdown,” national product endorsements and television segments, the fight world is growing accustomed to hearing from Rener and Ryron Gracie. In addition to being extremely technical Jiu Jitsu practitioners, they’re charismatic, verbose, and gregarious in public.

They seem poised to replace their father Rorian as the voice of the Gracie family, and its related public relations/business operations. On the other end of the spectrum, Ralek isn’t heard from often.

As he tends to his infant son while speaking with us one recent afternoon, Ralek is thoughtful and well-spoken, almost a surprise given how rarely he has a microphone in his face and how quiet he seems on the rare occasions that he does.

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Oh, Yeah: DREAM.14 Airs Late Tonight on HDNet (3 a.m. ET/midnight PT)

Ralek Gracie Kazushi Sakuraba Dream 14 weigh-ins
(A motivated Sakuraba is a dangerous Sakuraba. That doesn’t apply here, obviously, but I’m just saying. Check out more DREAM.14 weigh-in photos at dreamofficial.com.)

We haven’t given this event much play because, let’s face it, none of these fights really amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Nick Diaz is probably going to chew up Hayato Sakurai, who has been stopped in his last two outings. Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Ralek Gracie is a sideshow, even if it’s one with a historic hook. (Minowaman vs. random fat-guy Imani Lee is just a sideshow, period.) Kid Yamamoto is facing a middling prospect, while Joachim Hansen — who’s riding his own two-fight losing streak — will look for his first win at featherweight. The only real questions are: 1) How good will Diaz look? and 2) Will Saku add another beating to his highlight reel? Still, if you happen to have HDNet and DVR service (or insomnia), it’s better than nothing. Weigh-in results are below. Come back tomorrow for complete results and selected fight videos.

8. WW: Nick Diaz 76.0kg vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai 76.5kg
7. 88kg Catchweight: Kazushi Sakuraba 86.5kg vs. Ralek Gracie 87.4kg
6. FW: Hiroyuki Takaya 65.0kg vs. Joachim Hansen 65.0kg
5. FW: Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto 59.8kg vs. Federico "Kiko" Lopez 62.0 kg* (Lopez came in way over the fight’s 60kg limit; he will be given time to lose the weight this afternoon.)
4. FW: Hideo Tokoro 63.0kg vs. Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura 62.8kg
3. FW: Kazuyuki Miyata 64.2kg vs. Takafumi Otsuka 64.4kg
2. FW: Yoshiro Maeda 60.7kg vs. Kenji Osawa 61.0kg
1. Openweight: Minowaman 88kg vs. Imani Lee 150kg

After the jump: Diaz explains why he’s the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

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‘The Gracie Hunter’ Returns: Sakuraba vs. Ralek Gracie Booked for DREAM.14


(How Sakuraba earned his nickname. Props: Jermac2009)

It looks like DREAM will try to borrow some heat from an old Pride-era rivalry to build up its next show. The leading Japanese fight club held a press conference earlier today at Kazushi Sakuraba‘s Laughter7 gym in Tokyo, where it was announced that Sakuraba would return later this month at DREAM.14 (May 29th, Saitama), against Ralek Gracie. The son of UFC co-founder Rorion Gracie and third-eldest grandson of Helio Gracie, Ralek is an instructor at the Gracie Academy Headquarters in Torrance, and is 2-0 as an MMA competitor; he holds wins over Katsuyori Shibata and Alavutdin Gadzhiyev, both by first-round armbar. 

In Sakuraba, Ralek will be facing his family’s most well-known nemesis. During his legendary run in Pride, Saku went 4-0 against the Gracie clan, submitting Royler and Renzo, scoring a decision over Ryan, and making Royce quit after 90 minutes of fighting at the 2000 Grand Prix Finals. (Sakuraba lost a 2007 rematch with Royce at K-1 Dynamite!! USA by decision, though the UFC pioneer tested positive for steroids after the match.) Sakuraba has won his last two fights in DREAM — a first-round kimura over boxer Rubin Williams, and a first-round kneebar against Zelg Galesic, which he secured after taking an ungodly amount of punishment

DREAM.14′s current lineup and videos of Ralek’s two MMA fights are after the jump…

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