(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.
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.
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.”
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in mixed martial arts has been on my mind a bit more than usual lately. A few weeks ago Benson Henderson walked to the ring wearing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi with his brand new black belt tied around it at the waist.
Minutes later he walked out, his black belt still in tow but without his UFC lightweight title belt after getting submitted by an arm bar from inside the full guard of Anthony Pettis. At the time, Pettis was ranked as a blue belt — the belt just above white in BJJ.
Rolles got hit, the punch put him out on his feet and he spun around slowly before falling to the ground. It looked like the slapstick “Flair Flop” move that pro wrestler Ric Flair used to pull off after getting hit to put over his opponent. Three and a half years ago, of course, Rolles humiliated himself against Joey Beltran in his lone UFC fight after appearing to exhaust himself almost immediately.
Both recent Gracie losses brought about public questions of whether or not the Gracie family and Jiu Jitsu itself have become outdated in modern MMA. Henderson’s submission loss to Pettis could have been seen as a triumph of Jiu Jitsu technique but instead, some critics chose to question the validity and use of BJJ belt ranks.
What did Henderson’s black belt mean, exactly, if he could go out and get submitted by someone with a lower BJJ rank, who was more known for high-flying kicks than anything, and with such a basic move? The notions that Gracies losing fights and Henderson getting submitted somehow reflect negatively on Jiu Jitsu itself are, of course, silly.
MMA isn’t about magical styles and secrets solely in the possession of those with certain-colored pieces of clothing or particular surnames. It never has been.
(*yawn*…damn, I was having the most incredible dream. I was being held in the arms of a beautiful woman. She had this long, blonde braid that was tickling my-OH MY GOD, NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” / Photo via Getty)
Vinny Magalhaes: Vinny’s 14-second knockout loss to Anthony Perosh at UFC 163 made it two defeats in a row for him — following a decision loss against Phil Davis in April — and dropped his overall Octagon record to 1-4, through two stints in the promotion. Last week, the TUF 8 finalist claimed he would retire from MMA if the UFC dropped him. So…good luck, man.
(“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!
Surreal. That’s a pretty apt description of most Anderson Silva fights, for better or worse. Dodging Forrest Griffin’s strikes like he was in the Matrix, standing on the cage against Stephan Bonnar, front-kicking Vitor Belfort in the face? Surreal. Dancing around Thales Leites and shouting “where’s your jiu-jitsu now, playboy?” at Demian Maia? Surreal.
But those pale in comparison to what happened last night. What happened last night, when Silva lost for the first time in seventeen fights because he pushed the envelope too far, was the definition of surreal. For the sake of trying to comprehend what happened, let’s recapitulate for a moment. The first round saw Chris Weidman, the new middleweight kingpin of the UFC, take Silva down. Faced with the area in which he was most vulnerable, Silva deftly rolled with what ground and pound Weidman offered and defended any submission attempts before getting back to his feet. The rest of the round was spent taunting Weidman and stuffing any attempts at taking the fight to the ground. At the end of the round, Silva inexplicably hugged Weidman before returning to his corner.
When the second round began, Silva was in complete control, mocking Weidman’s attempts to hurt him. It was a performance unlike any other. But Silva strayed too far to the edge; caught with his chin up in the middle of a Weidman combination, he was felled by a left hook. His eyes rolled back; he was out before he hit the ground, where Weidman followed with a salvo of ground and pound that was merely a formality. Somehow, Silva had lost his title even more than Weidman had won it.
They’ve smushed chins. They’ve mushed lips. But tonight at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman will let their fists do the love-making, and the only bodily fluids being exchanged will be BLOOD. [Ed. note: Look, I'm doing my best here.] Whether the Brazilian G.O.A.T. makes his 11th middleweight title defense, or the “All-American” lives up to his Rocky-esque underdog hype, I think we’re in for a hell of a battle.
Handling our liveblog for the “Silva vs. Weidman” main card is Alex Giardini, who will be slingin’ live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates, and feel free to mouth off in the comments section.
Are Chris Weidman‘s chances for an upset as good as everybody seems to think they are? Is Tim Kennedy better at talking than he is at fighting? Does UFC 162 feature the most stacked Facebook prelims in the history of curtain-jerking? And Dave Herman‘s getting fired, right? Read on as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones debate these topics — and so much more — and be sure to come back tomorrow night for our “Silva vs. Weidman” liveblog, beginning with the FX prelims at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Chris Weidman has become the fashionable pick for an upset against Anderson Silva. You don’t actually believe he’ll pull it off, do you? I mean, you’re not a moron, right?
JJ: Now,I may be a moron, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is a moron.
If we were to have this debate immediately after Weidman had finished knocking Mark Munoz into an ice cream cake-induced depression, I would have told you that Anderson Silva was a dead man walking. “Weidman brings the kind of grappling prowess that, like Chael P. Sonnen before him, will all but completely suffocate Andy’s offense,” I would say whilst smoking a corncob pipe and farting into a wine glass, “And his striking, while clearly not on Silva’s level, has improved enough to keep the soon-to-be former champ hesitant in those rare moments when he won’t be fighting off his back.” I would have mocked you for daring to claim otherwise, then had security escort you out of my chalet bungalow when you inevitably lost your cool like a common miscreant.
BG: I feel like this wave of Weidman-support isn’t so much based on realistic analysis of the matchup, so much as fans’ natural desire to see some change after seven years of having the same champion dominating the competition, and other UFC fighters’ totally understandable self-interest in having that dominant champion go away for a while. It’s wishful thinking, basically.
The good news is, Weidman has a long career still ahead of him. Three years from now, Anderson Silva might be retired, and Chris Weidman will still be beating up top contenders. He’ll have his moment. Saturday night will not be that moment.
Tim Kennedy seems to talk a lot for a guy without many significant wins. Will Roger Gracie silence him for once, or will Kennedy finally live up to his own hype?
Come along as we head to Las Vegas and breakdown some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for Zuffa’s latest 2013 PPV offering. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, as usual.
Melancon makes his UFC debut as the +250 underdog after a 1-1 record in Strikeforce against a -300 Seth Baczynski. “The Polish Pistola,” who is built like a middleweight, will enjoy a 7 inch height advantage and should be able to keep the fight standing to compliment his striking advantage in this bout. Melancon has yet to be finished and fight goes the distance at -195 is a fairly safe prop option for a single bet. Baczynski makes the parlay.