Applying a choke he claims to be adjusting over and over, Rolles Gracie won his fourth career MMA fight last Friday at the Urban Confict Championships (UCC 4). Gracie answered our questions below:
Last Friday you made your MMA return with a quick win at UCC 4 against Braden Bice. What was that submission you used?
Just the good old meat and potatoes with some special seasoning. It was a traditional arm triangle that I’ve been working on. I’ve been sinking it from everywhere and every which way.
Gregor has been training hard in MMA too, and besides all that there was the trip to Costa Rica with always-welcome training sessions with him, Rilion, Roger, Kyra and Igor. Would you say you were at your best when you made your return to the ring?
It’s not just me and Gregor, but Igor should have a fight coming up soon. It really was a good moment for me, and the trip to Costa Rica did help a lot; I feel really close to my family members and to the people who want what is best for me. And I had that not just in Costa Rica but throughout all my preparations for this fight. Our team is really tightly knit and now in New York we have professional facilities with an octagon – something we were missing.
Did anything peculiar happen during the event?
Two things I’ll never forget: How cold it was in there – it was an ice hockey arena. When I got there I had to buy another jacket so I could warm up right. And two relates to the first question. When I subbed the guy no one understood what happened – not the ref, the judges, the promoters. I even got worried for a second until I figured out what was causing all the debate; I thought they hadn’t seen the guy tap. They ended up listing the official result as a guillotine from the mount.
How did you assimilate your loss in the UFC mentally to help you now? Did you just ignore it or did you use it as motivation?
At the time it was rough, but I’m stronger than that. I know who I am and my potential. That loss was nothing more than an accident and learning experience; for sure I’m a better and more experienced fighter for it. I just take it as a page turned in my career, I couldn’t let it influence this fight.
How are things at the academy going? Do you now plan to divide your time between the academy and your career in MMA?
Things at the academy are going fine; I had a lot of support from our students, who showed up for the event in numbers. These are my two professional passions: teaching and fighting. We have a good team and I can afford myself the luxury of training when I need to, as there are good teachers to cover for me. And I believe my fights help with the academy’s progress.
You got hit hard by adrenaline dump in that fight in the octagon – something that happens in Jiu-Jitsu even in training. How do you go about keeping your calm now?
I’m a calm guy, but for this fight I didn’t allow any negative energy around me. I was strong and had a clear mind, was only focused on my objective: winning. I knew I’d done my homework and studied for the test. That being the case, it’s hard not to be focused and calm.
What’s your next target?
I want to keep fighting; I’m already bugging my manager to set me up another fight. I want to have one more fight by July.