Olympic medalist going for third MMA submission

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Crane: getting ready to fight Saturday at King of the Cage along with ten students / Photo: publicity

As avid GRACIEMAG.com readers are aware, the March 27 King of the Cage event in Tarzana, California will be filled with students of our GMA Alberto Crane. In all, ten students of the Gracie Barra Encino teacher with branches in Pasadena and Burbank will be on the card.

What escaped most people’s attention, though, is that a judoka of the highest caliber will see action in the Californian cage, looking for her third MMA finish.

Her name is Rhonda Rosey, a bronze medalist from the Beijing 2008 Olympics making her professional MMA debut. An armbar buff, Rhonda is doing her preparations with a stalwart team, alongside Jared Papazian, Rob Gooch, Ako Harper, Martin Gantt, Keenan Lewis, Daniel Clark, Juan Pablo Garcia, Robert Gleckman and current blue belt absolute champion of the world Orlando Sanchez. But we’ll let Alberto Crane himself fill us in, in the following GRACIEMAG.com interview:

You have 18 career MMA fights with 13 wins and two appearances in the UFC. With this fight on the 27th are you picking up where you left off in your career?

I love MMA and competition and I would love to get a win in the UFC, but to be honest being a coach, dad and husband are more of a priority to me.

You’re going to fight and corner ten students at KOTC “Turning Point” on the 27th. How are you going to divide the two things for nothing to go wrong?

Its an MMA event, my students and I are fighting on the same night and many things can go wrong! But you have to believe in your students, yourself and I am confident! To be honest (about how ten of his students ended up on the same card) I think it happened over lunch with one of my students, Robert Gleckman, who wanted to fight, and so I put him in touch with the right people and the next thing I know it’s actually happening!

Which of your students fighting on the 27th is the best?

Let me just say that there is a lot of heart and talent and everybody’s technique is improving by the day!

Of the men, there’s Orlando Sanchez, one of your students with the most expressive results in the gi. Could he be making the move to MMA any time soon?

I think Orlando as of right now is planning on being the best he can be in Jiu-Jitsu, but MMA is something that definitely interests him and no doubt sees in his bright future!

And of the girls, there’s Rhonda. . .

Rhonda Rousey was a bronze medalist in Judo at the Beijing Olympics. Im really excited to see all these amazing athletes go at it on the 27th!!

What about you, when do you return to gi competition?

The last time I competed in the gi was in 2007. I would like to compete this year in the gi, but to be honest I am more of a coach these days! The academies Gracie Barra Encino, Pasadena and Burbank are going great and growing by the day!  Every now and again I get a visit from Draculino, who came by last week and gave an amazing seminar.

What advice would you give a young Jiu-Jitsu practitioner?

Man, I would say do your best, believe in yourself and surround yourself with the right people. That will get you there!

What about you, are you already a GMA associate and have news about your students and academy? Send it in to us a gma@graciemag.com and help us spread the word to the worldwide Jiu-Jitsu community!

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