Royce Gracie’s raving at the UFC Rio press conferences is no lie: Roger is one of the most exciting fighters currently not under contract to the UFC. “He’s putting in good appearances, doing everything just right,” recalled the “founder” of the UFC, predicting that soon Roger will be making the Octagon his home. The medium heavyweight fights next under the Strikeforce banner on the coming 10th in Ohio, where he takes on Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in a fight that will place the winner in front of the goal with a shot at the belt now held by Dan Henderson, who will be making a move to the UFC.
“If he manages to keep it standing, he’ll have a good chance at not getting submitted. If the fight goes to the ground, those chances diminish considerably,” said Roger in a statement posted on MMAJunkie.com.
Before Roger, though, this coming Saturday marks Gregor Gracie’s debut at new big-money promotion One FC’s maiden event, in Singapore. The promotion is meant to revisit the days of Pride FC. The Gracie will be facing China’s Wang Sai in one of the main events.
This will be the Renzo Gracie pupil’s seventh MMA outing. The welterweight’s goal is to make it to the UFC in 2012. Gregor has won five fights by submission, his last two coming in under three minutes apiece.
“It’s still too early to say for sure, but my objective is to make my UFC debut next year,” says the Gracie. Besides Jiu-Jitsu, he has also been training regularly in boxing and wrestling. “I want to enter the UFC at full force, not be just another guy in there. I have a name to defend and I intend to do my all to honor my family,” he asserts.
To achieve their goals, Gregor and Roger are training with Renzo in New York. At the end of September the two will compete at the Nottingham, England, installment of the ADCC upon invitation from Sheikh Tahnoon.
Roger is a three-time absolute world champion in Jiu-Jitsu, an unprecedented achievement in the sport. Now Gregor started competing in Jiu-Jitsu at 16 years of age and made it to black belt in only four years, during which time he won the world championship twice, as a blue belt and purple belt; the Pan-American championship; the Brazilian Nationals; and twice he won the Brazilian Team Nationals, at which point he moved to New York, where he began practicing the discipline of No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu. Since getting his start in MMA, where he holds six wins in all, Gregor has submitted five opponents.