Is the Gracie family becoming obsolete?

The Gracie family created the UFC and revolutionized how fighters train and popularized the once unknown realm of ground fighting. Back in 1993 a young Brazilian by the name of Royce Gracie shocked the martial arts world by proving Brazilian (Gracie) Jiu Jitsu’s effectiveness. Winning 3 Open Weight UFC tournaments Royce Gracie solidified the fact that anyone who was willing to step in the octagon had to know the grappling art pioneered by the Gracie family.

BJJ Gracie schools are spread all over the United States and around the world. Many successful fighters are currently based out of these school such as Jake Shields, the Diaz brothers, and Gilbert Melendez are from the Cesar Gracie’s camp. Since the days of Royce Gracie winning Open Weight Tournaments the Gracie family has concentrated more on their schools than fighting in MMA. Even though some did fight none has been successful as Royce. In the past, a fighter baring the surname of Gracie cause opponents to shiver in fear, but today they are just one of the many family members who are just trying to build a career with the name.

Rolles Gracie, a young and upcoming fighter, recently made his debut at UFC 109. Originally he was going to fight Mostapha Al Turk but due to an injury he had to pull out. UFC threw in a late replacement, Joey Beltran. The fight was suppose to be a cake walk for Rolles as his new opponent was relative unknown and considered less dangerous than Al Turk. Unfortunately, Rolles couldn’t put up any offense or defense and fell to the hands of Beltran. The loss was embarrassing which led to UFC booting him from the promotion. This is not the first time a debut by a Gracie ended in embarrassment. Cesar Gracie was knocked out by Frank Shamrock seconds into the first round at Strikeforce’s first MMA event.

Renzo Gracie has recently signed a multi-fight contract with UFC, and his first opponent is none other than Matt Hughes. Hughes, a few years ago, easily defeated Royce Gracie in UFC 60 putting an end to the Gracie dominance the name once held. Renzo on the UFC roster is nothing more than a stab to associate a Gracie name with the most successful MMA promotion in the world. Multi-fights don’t mean squat. Renzo will need to win impressively, and a bad loss can send him back to Strikeforce.

Ironically, the Gracie family who forced the MMA world to learn BJJ is now finding themselves that BJJ alone can not win fights. Many fighters today focus on the defense of BJJ, wrestling, and striking. Sure there are many world-class BJJ fighters who can fight, but those who rely solely on their world-class grappling skills are being beat by fighters with less grappling experience.  Being well-rounded is key in the sport. It’s not just being dominant in one particular art, but to mesh and utilize all the different skills to win. Now it’s the Gracie family that is forced to learn beyond their heritage grappling background.

6 Replies to “Is the Gracie family becoming obsolete?”

  1. Gracies suck. They never win in MMA. They just have a bunch of schools where you have to worship the family and bow to the holy pictures of Carlos Gracie Jr. on the wall. Then you have too oooh and ahhh when some gracie with a crappy MMA record walks in because he won a bunch of submission grappling tournaments. I thought BJJ was about winning fights not about winning trophies at grappling tournaments.

    its been along time ago but I wont forget, one of the Gracies gave me a good fight in 1977. Thaiwan or Bogatah Columbia it was worth it. Greattime, whos the older Gracie, Enzo or who that was there in 77 Thanks RC

  3. The haters (Jonny included) seems to base their opinion on “fighting” in the UFC as whether the Gracies are still great or whether they suck. What the forget, or don’t know, is that the Gracies (at least the ones at the Gracie Academy in CA) focus their attention and training on street self defense application, not on MMA. Yes, they started the original UFCs, and there were virtually no rules in those early UFCs. MMA has grown into a sport (a very cool sport I agree) and to brand the Gracies as insignificant because they don’t focus on or win MMA fights is simply ridiculous. Rules and time limits completely change everything. The Gracie self defense strategy involves being in a defensive position, staying safe while the other person tires them self out, then pulling off a submission. In today’s MMA competitions, it is considered stalling, and the ref would stand them back up. There are no refs on the street. MMA and street fights are totally different animals.

  4. There is a HUGE difference between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and UFC Jiu-Jitsu. In Gracie Jiu-Jitsu it’s about not getting hit, sucking the life out of your opponent, and than submission without interference of time or rules. In UFC Jiu-Jitsu it is all about time,points, and if your lucky you might pull off a submission. The UFC is a sport, like any sport, and has rules for the purpose of protecting the fighters and organizing events. Out on the street, where it really counts, the average asshole will freakout when you put him in your guard and break him down physically and mentally.

  5. Johnny is a dumb shit who if ever faced by a Gracie would eat his words and leave on a stretcher. And saying that the Gracies are “obsolete” is like saying that Jesus is obsolete to Christianity. The Gracies MADE the ground fighting style that fighters use in MMA, All U.S. military branches use for combat and the absolute best self defense system on the planet. Anyone who wants to disrespect them or question if they are “obsolete”, ask yourself what kind of legacy you have left for the world. And if you think the style is infective, take The Gracie Challenge. What other dynasty in martial arts is so confident in their style that they offer a world wide challenge with a $100,000 prize?

  6. Gracie Jiu Jitsu ( Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ) never was about MMA fighting. It set out to prove that you have to learn BJJ or lose.
    MMA was never an element of the first UFC events. It was Martial Art against Martial Art.
    They’ve proven their point.
    Now they teach BJJ which you have to know in order to be well rounded in MMA.

    Their goal has been achieved. BJJ is not MMA let’s not forget.

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