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Tag: Renzo Gracie

Renzo Gracie Just Provided the Most Astute Analysis of Rousimar Palhares Ever


(Let’s just say that the cake with a stripper in it ended in a goddamn bloodbath.) 

Much has been done to try and explain away the assholish behavior of Rousimar Palhares in the wake of AnkleGate ’13. Although “Toquinho” —  which means either “Tree Stump,” “The Brazilian Ankle-Eating Sasquatch,” or “OH GOD, I TAP! I TAP!!” depending on who you ask — has been notoriously dubbed a dirty fighter for his inability to release a submission hold when prompted, it was his knee-obliterating heel hook of Mike Pierce at Fight Night 29 that truly took the blood-filled cake, forcing the UFC to release Palhares back into the jungles of Brazil forevermore.

Recently, it was announced that Palhares would emerge from hiding to take on UFC veteran Dean Lister in a submission-only match at the 2013 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo. The MMA world reacted with equal parts fear and excitement — kind of like how Rousimar reacts when he catches his reflection in a puddle. Sadly, WJJE president Renzo Gracie broke the news earlier today that a shoulder injury has forced Palhares out of the match. That is not the must-read material. Renzo’s analysis of Rousimar Palhares the person, however, absolutely is:

Palhares is like a 12 years old kid. He was raised in a farm in Brazil, and you can’t picture a farm in Iowa. He’s so naive. The reality is, he has a completely different mindset. They’re born like Indians, and it’s like getting an Indian from the jungle and expect them to live here.

While this analogy is undoubtedly hilarious, we all know that Paul Harris was actually born in a radioactive swamp and raised in captivity.

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Renzo Gracie Gives Inspirational Quote About MMA Comeback, Still Manages to Reference Nut Sacks


(Renzo, age 18. Photo via @RenzoGracieBJJ)

Renzo Gracie, who hasn’t competed in MMA since his TKO loss to Matt Hughes over three years ago, wants to fight again. ”There’s nothing that I want to do more than to be back in the cage, to be back fighting,” the 46-year-old said on The MMA Hour last month. “Life has been pushing me everywhere but in that direction, but now I’m getting so tired and frustrated with everything else that I’m going to just bury myself into a mat and train the whole day, and do what I love, which is training and fighting.”

After UFC president Dana White questioned the wisdom of Renzo’s comeback, Gracie shared this philosophical response with MMAFighting:

For having nothing to prove nor nothing to gain. To fight for what it is without reason, without greed, just for the passion to step once again in the arena and be an inspiration for a future generation of great fighters. To prove that age is only a handicap for the soft ones. And above all, because I love it.

My man, I’m fighting. It doesn’t matter where. Even for free. Last time I checked I didn’t have wrinkles. Not even on my nut sack.

Renzo Gracie. MMA pioneer. Street vigilante. Balls as smooth as eggs. Legend.

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CagePotato Roundtable #27: Who Suffered the Furthest Fall from Grace in MMA History?


(Taktarov vs. Kerr, as promoted by Bob Meyrowitz. If this doesn’t embody everything about today’s discussion, then what *does*? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

It was thirty-three years ago today that the absolutely tragic bout between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes went down — where a younger, far more athletic Larry Holmes beat the aging legend so badly that he actually cried for Ali when it was over. Though Ali is still celebrated as one of the greatest fighters of all time, his legacy has never been the same as it could have been if he simply stayed retired. It’s in memory of this fight that we’ll be talking about falls from grace during today’s roundtable: fighters who stuck around far too long, lost some embarrassing bouts as a result and tarnished their once-great legacies. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

George Shunick

Tim Sylvia: A name once synonymous with greatness, excitement, and extraordinary physique. Once atop the Mount Olympus of the sport, he reigned supreme over lesser beings for roughly four years, vanquishing the best of the best in his weight class. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating here. So maybe Tim Sylvia was never exactly a world beater; he was awkward, plodding, fat, had no real ground game to speak of and was the UFC heavyweight champion when all the best fighters in the division were busy competing across the Pacific ocean.

But for all that, he was the heavyweight champion. He even had sex with his greatest rival’s ex-girlfriend. (Leading to this glorious interview with said rival, Andrei Arlovski.) He was relatively wealthy, at least compared to other fighters. Point being, he had achieved all someone who came into this world as Tim Sylvia could possibly hope to achieve. Even once he had lost the title, he still retained the respect that was deservedly owed to him.

Then this happened.

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Royce Gracie Plain Wrong in His Criticism of Own Family


(We never expected The Godfather of MMA to take sides against the family like this. | Photo by Sherdog.com)

By Elias Cepeda

On Monday I wrote about practitioners of “real” Jiu Jitsu. That is, those who have a background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and who test those skills in real fights.

Kron Gracie looks to be the next such high-profile example as he sets his sights on a 2014 MMA debut. Royce Gracie is, of course, the first that most of us ever heard of.

Gracie entered the original UFC tournaments as the lightest fighter in open weight contests where the only rules were no biting, eye gouging or fish-hooking, and submitted three and four men in single-night tournaments with the Jiu Jitsu skills that his family developed. As such, Royce’s place in history is more than secure.

As younger family members of his try to carve out their own space in MMA, however, Royce is offering not support but rather rough criticism. Many have criticized fighters like Roger and Rolles Gracie for not being as well-rounded as a few of their best opponents, and take the occasions of their losses to pile on.

Surprisingly, Royce is the latest critic to add some fertilizer onto that pile. Unlike many others, however, Royce says that the reason for his family members’ recent losses is because they are trying to be too well-rounded.

“Jiu-jitsu is enough,” Royce Gracie recently told MMAFighting.com. “I’ve trained boxing in the past to learn the distance, trained wrestling to understand how he would take me down, but I won’t get there to fight my opponent’s game. The [new] guys [from the Gracie] family want to complement their game, like if Jiu-Jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history.

“I do jiu-jitsu my whole life, so why would I try to stand and bang with Mike Tyson?” he went on. ”I’m going to learn boxing in six months because my opponent is good in boxing? That makes no sense.”

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It Looks Like Roger Gracie Will Be the Third Straight Gracie to Go “One and Done” in the UFC


(“And he couldn’t be more thrilled. Back to you in the studio, Ariel!” Photo via Getty.) 

It’s safe to say that time has not been kind to the Gracie family, at least in the UFC. Hell, it’s safe to say that time has been kinder to the Sumatran Tiger than it has to the Gracies, and I see at least fourteen adds asking me to save the former from poachers every goddamn day.

It all started when Rolles Gracie shit the bed in his octagon debut at UFC 109. While you could argue that he might have been called up to the UFC a little prematurely (being that he was only 3-0 at the time), Dana & Co. showed no such consideration or hespect for the Gracie name when they gave him the boot. Next, Renzo Gracie was leg kick TKO’d by Matt Hughes at UFC 112 and that’s all we are willing to say about that. Most recently, Roger Gracie rode a two-fight win streak in Strikeforce over to the UFC, where he was upended by Tim Kennedy in an absolute snoozefest at UFC 162.

Unfortunately, it looks like the most qualified Gracie to…grace the octagon in years will suffer the same fate as the former two. Combate.com is passing along word that the Brazilian’s four fight Strikeforce contract — which transferred/expired following Roger’s uninspiring UFC 162 loss — has not been renewed by the promotion. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, it looks like Rampage vs. Ortiz just became A TRIPLE THREAT CAGE MATCH FOR THE WHATEVERF*CKYOUWEIGHT TITLE!

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Awww Snap! Renzo Gracie Says Anderson Silva Not a Humble Guy

Renzo Gracie fought on the UFC 112 card where Anderson Silva infuriated most of the known MMA world with his taunting of Demian Maia during their main event bout. Gracie is also connected with #1 middleweight contender Chris Weidman, who challenges Silva in one week at UFC 162.

In case you were wondering if Gracie and Silva’s shared mother country would keep the Jiu Jitsu legend from talking smack about Silva – it won’t. Speaking to The Fight Network, Gracie said, “Anderson is a guy that rubs many people the wrong way. He’s not a humble guy.”

Alright, so it’s not exactly mother f_cking Silva, but Renzo does seem to mean it as a serious criticism.

“Even though he may speak humbly when he talks, when he’s in the ring he doesn’t act humble. He puts down his opponents. He acts in a way that again, we always know what is right and wrong, and by looking at that, we know it’s wrong. It’s like you can beat your opponent, but do it with respect,” Gracie continued.

Saying Silva isn’t humble is a bit like saying that Michael Jordan is arrogant. No kidding, and who really cares?

Throwbacks like Renzo, we suppose. Renzo might hold on to a choke way after a ref has stepped in, or stomp on the head of an opponent of one of his fighters after the bell, sure.

He’s ruthlessly aggressive in fights but we can’t ever remember him taunting opponents during the fight. He’s all business, and it’s a grimy business.

Check out the video above for Renzo’s take on the bout as well as that of Weidman’s striking coach, Ray Longo.

- Elias Cepeda

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And Now He’s Retired: UFC Lightweight John Cholish Hangs Up the Gloves Over Low Pay


Cholish estimates that after training costs, his paycheck from last night’s fight wasn’t enough to break even. Photo courtesy of his Twitter page.

No matter how gloriously cheesy the TapouT commercials try to make it look, life as a fighter is far from easy. Training full-time is extremely taxing on your body, promoters and fellow fighters alike can be shady, unpleasant individuals, sponsors try to stiff you, and because the pay involved is so low for most fighters, it’s all essentially just for the glory of saying you’re better at a sport than the guy across from you.

That’s why – in many ways – it should come as little surprise that UFC Lightweight also-ran John Cholish is walking away from the sport after his loss to Gleison Tibau during last night’s UFC on FX 8.

If you find yourself wondering who John Cholish is, you’re far from alone. After compiling a 7-1 record in the minor leagues – including a victory on the undercard of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva – the Renzo Gracie product made his UFC debut at UFC 140, where he defeated Mitch Clarke by second round TKO. This would be the final victory of his career, as Cholish would then drop a decision to Danny Castillo during the UFC on FOX 3 undercard, lose to Gleison Tibau last night and retire from the sport. Another small fish in a big pond, whose career barely made a splash.

Perhaps fittingly, Cholish’s retirement may very well end up being the most significant part of his career. Cholish – who announced his intent to retire on Twitter shortly before the his fight – made it clear while speaking with MMAJunkie.com that the low paychecks that fighters in his position earn were his primary motivation for hanging up the gloves. Via MMAJunkie:

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[VIDEO] GSP, BJ Penn, Renzo Gracie & Matt Serra Discuss Fight Psychology


(Props: fueltv)

Every once in a while, videos come out that you wish were a little longer. Usually, they include this chick. Others, however, contain candid and inside looks into the lives and mindsets of top fighters. A new one released by Fuel TV called “UFC Roundtable Welterweights” is one of those videos.

Our favorite fitness guru and MMA coach Jay Glazer sat down with four legends — BJ Penn, Renzo Gracie, Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra — to discuss the psychology of pre-fight moments like stare downs, warm ups, and the walk to the cage/ring. Given all the heat and history between most of these guys, it was cool to see them sit next to one another and seemingly enjoy what the others had to say.

St. Pierre, for example, waxed sports-psychologist philosophical about how he turns his fear into courage, and even his two-time nemesis Serra was impressed. Penn gushed about how Renzo was the one guy who didn’t look away from him during a stare down. I guess time and everyone being rich has a way of healing old wounds.

- Elias Cepeda

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CagePotato.com Presents: The 2012 Potato Awards

As MMA gamely stumbles into 2013, we’ve once again decided to bestow meaningless awards to the fighters and moments that caught our attention this year. CagePotato’s crack team of writers spent all month nominating winners in 27 different categories, which we’ve loosely arranged in chronological order. Use the “next page” links to scroll through this monster, or click on the following page links at your leisure. And as always, thanks for putting up with us for another year. Here’s to bigger and better things in 2013, which shouldn’t be a tough goal to hit, considering.

Page 1: Knockout of the Year, Comeback Fight of the Year, Worst Performance in a Drug Test, ‘WTF?’ Moment of the Year

Page 2: The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award, Worst Event of the Year, Worst Fight of the Year, Best Fight of the Year

Page 3: The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award, Most Bizarre MMA News Story of the Year, The Dana White Crazy Freakout of the Year Award, MMA Twitter Photo of the Year

Page 4: Greatest Fight Canceled Due to Injury, The Minowaman Freak Show Hall of Fame Award, Most Satisfying Beatdown, Comeback Fighter of the Year

Page 5: MMA Fail of the Year, Catchphrase of the Year, The Steve Nelmark Memorial “Is He Dead?” Award, Best Female Newcomer

Page 6: The “Really? You’re Just Gonna Keep Doing that Shit that Gets You in All That Trouble?” Award (a.k.a. “The Koppenhaver”), Gnarliest Injury of the Year, Best Event of the Year, Submission of the Year

Page 7: The Inaugural “Okay, It’s FINALLY Safe to Call This Guy Wasted Potential” Award (a.k.a. “The Filho”), Greatest Hype Deflation, Greatest MMA GIFs of the Year

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“The Conversation With Elias Cepeda” Podcast Ep. 1: Renzo Gracie Discusses Bouncing at a Brothel, His War With Sakuraba, And the Meaning of Courage

By Elias Cepeda

Hey ‘Taters. I’ve been working on a new MMA podcast called “The Conversation” over the past few months, and we’re finally ready to debut it. The concept is simple — in depth, retrospective conversations with the most fascinating people in the fight world.

The production is basic and it’s something that I’ll be working to improve over time. What I hope shines through are the incredible stories that the remarkable people we speak with share during these honest and intimate conversations.

For this episode I traveled to New York to visit with everyone’s favorite Gracie, Renzo. In fact, it was just about a week or two before his now famous mugger smackdown tweet-a-thon. In my own head, I like to think that Renzo discussing self-defense and street fights during this podcast recording got his old-school juices flowing again. That, of course, is nonsense.

Renzo is always Renzo. He has deeply held convictions and stories that would make the fictional “World’s Most Interesting Man,” look like a mail room clerk in comparison.

And if you thought you’ve heard all the crazy stories Renzo had to tell before, I guarantee you have not before now. Renzo details a very independent childhood that had him fighting drug dealers on beaches to living in an Amazon brothel, experiencing lots of firsts. He goes on to talk about his pioneering family and a bit about his own time in Pride and the UFC.

He also opens up about the direction his careers have gone, possible regrets, and looking towards the future. If you love fight stories, life philosophy, and laughing your ass off, join us after the jump for this informal conversation with Renzo Gracie. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

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