The Gracie family’s heavyweight, Rolles Gracie, showed his Jiu-Jitsu is still up to speed when he stepped into the ring in Japan and won yet another MMA fight by first-round submission at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye in Tokyo. On New Year’s Eve, the son of the legendary Rolls Gracie tapped out Yusuke Kawaguchi with an arm-triangle choke—a move he’s used to finish four of his eight MMA wins.
The New Jersey native shared his thoughts with GRACIEMAG.com following the event.
GRACIEMAG.com: Like in the old days, Japan has again brought in a member of the Gracie family for a fight. What was it like to travel with Renzo and Daniel to fight on New Year’s in Japan?
ROLLES GRACIE: I always dreamed of fighting in Japan. I’d been there two times previously, but only to watch Ryan fight at Pride FC. Since then it’s become a dream of mine. It was an honor and a great experience. The crowd is really special. Nobody boos, even if there isn’t much going on in the fight. The Japanese are a very polite and respectful people.
How did your training for this fight go?
My training camp was good. I trained a lot. We’ve got a strong team here in New Jersey. I didn’t get hurt in training and everything went smoothly.
Now you’re riding a five-fight win streak. Are you considering a return to the UFC?
I think a possible return to the UFC would depend on the work I do. When I eventually get a call from the UFC, then I’ll think about what to do. But for the time being I’m pleased with the way my career is going. I’ve gotten offers to fight from three different events. I’m looking at which is the best option. I should have concrete news at any moment.
The UFC heavyweight division is becoming deeper and deeper. Have you been following?
Yes, they’re all tough, like in all the other divisions. In fact, these days there are tough guys everywhere you turn. All professional athletes.
You’re in charge of the New Jersey chapter of RGA academy. What’s it like to deal with teaching class, managing the academy and training for MMA?
I “kill one lion every day.” Besides that, I have three kids. It isn’t easy but everything I do I do out of love for my kids, so that helps. My objective is to continue fighting in MMA. I closed out 2012 with a fight. I hope even more opportunities will be coming my way in 2013.
IGF Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye
Ryogoku Kokugikan,Tokyo, Japan
December 31, 2012
- Mirko Cro Cop tapped out Shinichi Suzukawa via armbar at 1:18 min of R1
- Satoshi Ishii defeated Tim Sylvia via unanimous decision
- Ikushisa Minowa tapped out Bor Bratovz via footlock at 3:18 min of R1
- Rolles Gracie tapped out Yusuke Kawaguchi via arm-triangle at 2:00 min of R1
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