Like so many others, Gregor Gracie Rangel is a Jiu-Jitsu teacher from Brazil but best known in the United States, for his work in New York.
On the coming 29th of April he’ll be heading to Brazil in search of some due recognition for what he does, in the land of his birth. A common injustice in a nation like Brazil.
It will be no simple talk for the talented youth, who will have his chance in a true test of his mettle: to throw down with an Argentine in an MMA fight.
In this chat with reporter Carlos Ozório, Gregor (3w, 1l) speaks of his training with GSP and how he feels in the lead-up to his fight in the IFC promotion, in Recife, Brazil. Below, check out the Gracie’s MMA debut, in 2007:
Are you excited about fighting in the IFC on Brazilian soil?
I’m really happy to be fighting in Brazil. Thanks to the guys at the IFC I’ll have the opportunity to fight in my own country, before my countrymen. I feel Brazil is experiencing a really great moment in its history where MMA is concerned, the broader media has finally opened up and is valuing our MMA champions and athletes. It’s something they’ve been doing abroad for a long time now.
How are your preparations going?
Preparations are going according to plan, training is going full steam. We have really good people to work with in New York, besides the excellent facilities at Renzo’s gym. Now we have an octagon, a boxing ring and a fenced in mat area to train on. Besides Renzo, my brothers Igor and Rolles help me out, as do Rafael Sapo, Ricardo Cachorrão, Frankie Edgar – a real burly team.
What did you learn from training with GSP?
This past week we were in Canada training with GSP. He asked me to help him prepare for his fight – and as I will fight on the same day, the invite couldn’t have been better timed. My opponent, like Jake Shields, has a Jiu-Jitsu background, so we focused on that part, we put together similar strategies.
What was the camp in Costa Rica like, with Rilion, Kyra and your cousins?
It was awesome, one of the best trips of my life. I can hardly wait for the next leg of the Gracie Adventures, next year. Being able to spend a week in some paradise with your family members, exchanging information on Jiu-Jitsu and teaching the participants, with any stress, nothing to worry about – that is priceless.
You took third at the 2009 ADCC after losing to Popovitch, the champion. Will you be heading to the one in England this year, if you get an invite?
My priority right now is MMA, but as I love Jiu-Jitsu so much, I should compete at the ADCC or some Jiu-Jitsu championship, so long as the dates don’t conflict.