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Tag: Rickson Gracie

Kron Gracie Wins ADCC 2013 Tournament – Will He Turn to MMA Next?


(On the other hand, a noodling business venture with the Diaz brothers seems pretty tempting.)

Kron Gracie, son of family champ Rickson Gracie, won gold in the -77kg weight class of the 2013 ADCC tournament this past weekend. The ADCC is like the Olympics of submission grappling, with the world’s best meeting every two years to decide weight class champs as well as an open-weight champion.

Gracie won all four of his matches by submission, joining the elite ranks of former champions to have done the same like Marcelo Garcia and second cousin Roger Gracie. Kron beat UFC veteran Andy Wang in his first match, Gary Tonon in his second, J.T. Torres in his third and rival Otavio Souza in the finals.

Before competing at Metamoris II this past summer, Gracie told CagePotato that he has been training MMA with the Diaz brothers for some time and plans to make the transition to MMA in the near future. Gracie is supposed to have a super match at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo next month but it will be interesting to see what he decides to do in 2014.

Will Gracie decide to leverage his now champion status in the submission grappling world or walk away and make a name for himself in MMA? How much of a sense of urgency does he feel to focus all of his attention on developing a well-rounded MMA game?

Only time will tell but we’ll certainly bring you updates as they occur. For the time being, enjoy Kron’s 2013 ADCC matches against Tonon and Souza after the jump.

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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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[EXCLUSIVE] Metamoris II Headliner Kron Gracie Carries on Family Legacy


(Kron & Rickson Gracie | Photo via Moskova)

By Elias Cepeda

How do you ask a grown man to talk about a time you saw him cry? It can’t be easy, and maybe it’s not even polite. Surely an interviewer can think of other questions to ask someone — especially a fighter.

Unfortunately, in the day or so before speaking with Kron Gracie, that was the main thing I could think to ask, and to ask first. To be clear, I saw Kron cry when he was still a child, and then only from a distance.

Maybe I was mistaken and he wasn’t even truly crying.

Yeah, maybe that’s how you ask a man to talk about it — tepidly and with plenty of qualification. Probably not, but that’s how I broached the subject with the man.

It was the summer of 2000. Rickson Gracie, the champion of his family, was hosting an international Jiu Jitsu invitational. There were tournaments for every experience and ability level, as well as famous champions competing in super matches as well as milling around the arena as a part of the crowd.

And then there was little Kron Gracie. He had to have been just eleven or twelve.

Kron presumably could have chosen to enjoy the whole event as a child — that is, running around with family and friends, playing. Instead, he was in a gi and on the mats.

Kron’s older sisters were pretty and did fun demonstrations with their father. Kron’s older brother, Rockson, walked around the tournament with his head shaved, tattooed and an air of seriousness, the obvious heir apparent to Rickson Gracie’s fighting legacy.

Whatever pressures his siblings surely felt, Kron was the one on the mats that day, competing.

Kron competed that day and, when I saw him, he had just lost.

It couldn’t have been easy, and Rickson’s youngest child was visibly upset. Losing is never fun but when everyone is watching you because your dad is the best fighter in fighting’s first family, it has to be miserable. Rickson, walked over to Kron, put his arms around him and consoled his young son.

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Rickson Gracie’s New MMA Organization Has Some Interesting Rule Changes

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Vale Tudo legend Rickson Gracie is partnering with a new MMA organization in Brazil, y’all, and he’s putting his own unique stamp on the format and rules. Some are new ideas, many are ones tried before and at least one is just kinda weird.

Our friends over at GracieMag have the full story on the new Mestre do Combate, debuting November 22nd. Below we have some of the highlights.

Teams - Rickson’s organization will use a team format of some sort, akin to what the now defunct IFL used.

Rounds - There will just be two, like in the old Pride non title bouts. The first round will be ten minutes and the second will be five.

Cannot be saved by the bell - So this is interesting. “Fighters will not have the luxury of being saved by the bell: if a submission hold is in place when the bell sounds, they will have to defend or tap out first for the fight to end,” GracieMag reports. What do you think of this rule, nation? I think its a compelling idea, even if it could lead to some messy and uneven arbitrary implementation.

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CagePotato Roundtable #3: Who’s Your Favorite Fighter to Never Win a Major Title?


(In the heart of the child who made it, the Super HLUK belt is the most prestigious title on the planet.)

CagePotato Roundtable is our new recurring column in which the CP writing staff and some of our friends all get together to debate an MMA-related topic. Joining us this week is MiddleEasy.com founder Zeus Tipado, who was kind enough to smoke an entire bag of PCP and channel the spirit of Wallid Ismail. If you have a suggestion for a future Roundtable column, send it to tips@cagepotato.comThis week’s topic: Who’s your favorite MMA fighter to never win a major title?

Ben Goldstein

We take personality for granted these days. Everywhere you look, the MMA ranks are packed with shameless self-promoters, aspiring comedians, unrepentant assholes, and assorted clown-men. But in the UFC’s infancy, fighters tended to come in two types: Stoic (see Royce Gracie, Dan Severn) and certifiably insane ( see Joe Son, Harold Howard). David “Tank” Abbott changed all that. He entered the UFC with a fully-fledged persona, and managed to stay in character through his entire career. Simply put, he was the UFC’s first villain, and he played that role more effectively than anyone has since.

Heralded as a “pit fighter” — a term invented by UFC promoter Art Davie — Tank’s martial art of choice was hitting guys in the head really hard, which he did while wearing the sort of fingerless gloves that soon become industry standard. It’s difficult to overstate the impact that Tank’s debut at UFC 6 had on a 14-year-old Ben Goldstein as I was watching the pay-per-view at my friend Josh’s house. It wasn’t just that Abbott starched John Matua in a mere 18 seconds, or that Matua’s body seized up when his head hit the canvas. It’s that Tank reacted to the knockout by mimic-ing Matua’s stiffened pose. Tank actually mocked John Matua for having a seizure. Ruthless! And how about his destruction of Steve Nelmark at the Ultimate Ultimate ’96, which had to be the first “oh shit is that guy dead?” moment in UFC history. Tank was a living reminder that the UFC was very real, and very dangerous.

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On This Day in MMA History: The Godfather of North American MMA, ‘Judo’ Gene Lebell Was Born in 1932


(Video courtesy of YouTube/TheFightNerd)

If the first MMA fight you ever watched was Stephan Bonnar versus Forrest Griffin, chances are you have no clue who “Judo” Gene LeBell is, but pull up a chair because you’re about to learn about the man in the pink gi.

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Five MMA Fighters Who Went Out on Top

The temptation to keep fighting until you’re nothing more than a broken-down shell of your former self can be an overpowering one. Somehow, these men managed to resist it…

BAS RUTTEN

Though he’s better-known these days as the barely coherent host of Inside MMA and part-time children’s fitness coach, Bas Rutten’s legendary run as a professional fighter ended in 22 consecutive fights without a loss. After knocking off such MMA pioneers as Frank Shamrock (twice), Maurice Smith (twice), and Guy Mezger during his five-year stint in Pancrase, Rutten joined the UFC where he won their vacant heavyweight title in his second Octagon appearance (a split decision over Kevin Randleman at UFC 20). But while preparing for his next fight, Rutten suffered serious injuries to his knee and biceps, and was forced to retire from the sport.

Bas landed on his feet, though – his ongoing commentary gig for PRIDE as well as acting roles kept him busy until he decided he was healthy enough for one last dance around the cage, seven years later. Originally booked to fight Kimo Leopoldo at WFA: King of the Streets in July 2006, Rutten instead faced Ruben “Warpath” Villareal when Leopoldo pissed hot for Stanozolol two days before the fight. The beating was so lopsided that it eventually became featured in a CagePotato Video Tribute. With that last challenge conquered, El Guapo rode off into the sunset for good, an undefeated UFC champion who hadn’t tasted defeat in over 11 years. Party on, indeed.

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Videos: Maia’s “Science of Jiu-Jitsu,” Ken Shamrock’s Life Story + More


(Props: KahL)

Inspired by such HL-vid masters as Genghis Con, RVR, and Robert Park, a shadowy figure known as KahL-One has gotten into the MMA-film game with this tribute to Demian Maia, spanning Maia’s early fights to his current training with Wanderlei Silva. As you can tell from the intro, KahL seems to think that Demian is the second coming of Rickson — and maybe he’s right.

Below: Ken Shamrock shared his tale of personal redemption at the Fighting With God conference in January, and revealed the source of his early struggles — he wasn’t hugged enough as a child. No, seriously. This video cobbles together the highlights of his speaking appearance, where he gave the lowdown of life with his adoptive father Bob, losing to "a guy in pajamas" at UFC 1, cheating on his wife and the sport (‘roids?), and loving Jesus. A rare insight into the psyche of the World’s Most Dangerous Man. 

After the jump: A weak old man gets beat up by an MMA fighter. And believe it or not, you will be rooting for the MMA fighter.

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The Greatest Fighters Never to Enter the UFC

RG
(Rickson. That’s all you need to know.)

FIGHT! Magazine‘s May issue just hit newsstands and features a list of the seven best fighters who never did battle in an Octagon. This exclusive excerpt showcases four of them, starting with the undefeated legend of the Gracie family…

RICKSON GRACIE
Career: ‘94-‘00
Record: 11-0
Prime: ’94-’97

Tournament Experience:
Rickson won both the 1994 and 1995 Vale Tudo Japan eight-man tournaments.

Key Victories:
“Zulu” Nascimento, Masakatsu Funaki, Yoshihisa Yamamoto

Why it never happened:
This one is easy to answer. Rickson should have been in the UFC because it was designed with him in mind. As the family’s recognized champion, Rickson was Rorion Gracie’s first choice to show the world what Jiu-Jitsu could do. It was only after a falling out between the two brothers that younger brother Royce was selected to represent the family in the UFC. Rickson did help train Royce for the event, and he eventually established himself in another arena: Vale Tudo Japan.

IV
IGOR “ICE COLD” VOVCHANCHYN
Career: ‘95-‘05
Record: 51-10-1
Prime: ’96-’99

Tournament Experience:
Vovchanchyn is the winner of six eight-man tournaments, including three eight-man tournament titles and a four-man tournament in just sixty days. He competed in three other tournaments, losing in the semifinal or final bout.

Key Victories:
Kazushi Sakuraba, Mark Kerr (1-0-1), Gary Goodridge (2-0), Enson Inoue, Yuki Kondo

Key Losses:
Mark Coleman, Quinton Jackson, Mirko Filipovic, Mario Sperry, Alistair Overeem, Heath Herring

Why it never happened:
In 1996, Vovchanchyn’s name was mentioned for participation in the UFC 11 tournament, but visa issues kept the Ukrainian nightmare from ever stepping foot in the Octagon. Ironically, Mark Coleman went on to win that tournament. Like the PRIDE FC 2000 Grand Prix, he only fought twice that night to claim the title. Had Igor faced “Tank” Abbott in the semifinals, or Coleman in the final of UFC 11, we might be discussing a much different UFC history.

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The Top 10 Gracies of All Time

10. Roger Gracie In 2005, 23-year-old Roger Gracie won the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championship by submitting all eight opponents, something that had never been done before. The son of Reyla Gracie, Roger has racked up numerous first place finishes in jiu-jitsu tournaments around the world, and won his first MMA match in December [...]

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