Roger Gracie, who is tabbed to face Anthony Smith this coming January 12 at Strikeforce, made sure to get in some first-rate training during his stay in Rio de Janeiro.
Besides the MMA sparring he’s been getting in at Team Nogueira, Gracie (5-1) made the most of the weekend before Christmas to stop by Alliance Rio, an academy in the city’s upscale Leblon neighborhood run by Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva, an old buddy of his father Maurição Gomes’.
On the 23rd of this month, for example, practice turned into a great big study session on Jiu-Jitsu as applied to MMA, thanks to the presence of Fabio Gurgel, who spent Christmas in Rio, and Léo Leite and others of the team’s young talent.
“Gigi knows a great deal about No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu. And as Roger’s opponent is good on the ground too, they went over some things the guy likes to do, moves the American is frequently seen doing, things like that,” Fabio Gurgel told GRACIEMAG.com over the phone.
“The session was focused on the clinch. We did some clinch technique training as well as some work on Roger keeping us from getting up. Léo Leite and I went bouncing around on the ground and Roger had to keep the pressure on so we wouldn’t get up. It was good for getting his game tighter. It was another cool exchange between Roger and our team, which is always good for the gentle art and a pleasure for us,” Gurgel added.
Roger will be taking on Anthony Smith at the Strikeforce event in Oklahoma City, Okla., on the 12th of next month. Check out the complete card for the event:
Strikeforce: Marquardt vs Saffiedine
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
January 12, 2013
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle
Ronaldo Jacaré vs. Ed Herman
Under card (broadcast on Showtime Extreme)
Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith
Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith
Ryan Couture vs. KJ Noons
Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martins
Michael Bravo vs. Estevan Payan
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