At 15 years old, Rayron already carries a huge load on his shoulders. As if being a competitor named Gracie weren’t enough, he is also the son of the late Ryan Gracie, one of the most charismatic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters who ever lived.
“When I was younger I didn’t like to compete because I used to put too much pressure on myself, as everyone expected I would win,” he told Gallerr from New York via WhatsApp. “But I changed my way of thinking, and now I see that inside the mats it’s myself competing, and the only opinion that matters is my own. The most important thing is to compete, do my best and to train a lot so I could do it all over again.”
This video brings a bit of his participation at the N.Y. Open, his fifth tournament in 2017. He competed four times on that occasion, became his weight division’s champion after one match (“It’s hard to find kids at my age weighing 206,” he laughs), and conquered the silver medal in the open division.
“Even losing, I feel like I’m improving bit by bit, following the advice of my cousins,” he says, aiming to compete two or three times per month during the year. “My short-term goal is to become a world champion in June, in California. And my long-term goal is to build a career both in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.”