A second degree black belt under the most feared family in the history of the fight game, thirty-one year old Rolles Gracie Jr. has done a good job at managing to fly under the radar in the world of mixed martial arts considering his family tree.
At 6’4″, and normally walking around at a solid 240-250 pounds, Rolles has put together an undefeated record of 3-0 with all three victories coming by first round submission during his time in the sport.
Having initially made the transition from competitive submission tournaments to MMA in 2007, competing under Renzo Gracie in the IFL, Rolles ended up taking the next year and a half off before returning with a vengeance in May of 2009, and again on September 26 where he caught decorated K-1 veteran Peter Graham in a first round arm-triangle during Art of War 14 in China.
Don’t be surprised to see this fast rising prospect make the crossover to a major promotion in the United States sooner, rather than later. Although born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil , Gracie currently reside in New York City, where a move to a major promotion such as Strikeforce or the UFC seems to make complete sense. The last name alone is reason enough to put butts in seats, and isn’t that what it all boils down to in the end?
In a recent conversation with Tatame.com, Rolles revealed that he has been taking this whole fighting thing as seriously as humanly possible. Even going as far as to travel across the country to train with one of the best trainers in the sport, alongside many of the best fighters in the business.
“My manager, actually, lived in Albuquerque for a long time, trained with Greg Jackson, moved out to New York and started to train with us. Once a friend of him was there and Rashad too, a little after the fight between Rashad and Lyoto. He liked my Jiu-Jitsu and asked me to his camp.
“I’ve trained with him for my last fight too. I’m making an exchange, I’m training with Rashad Evans, a great friend of mine, a great person. We’re doing this exchange… He’s talented, explosive, in a little while you’ll see a big difference.”
If you’re a heavyweight in mixed martial arts today, it could be fair to say that you may be in the wrong sport if you don’t have your scope zeroed in on one man’s head. A goliath of a former WWE superstar that can currently lay claim to being the biggest draw the profession has ever seen.
When asked his thoughts on current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s potential vulnerability, Gracie had this to say, “Man, in the UFC I bet on Minotauro (Rodrigo Nogueira), I’m his fan for what he has done and his history, his fights against though guys… I think he has Jiu-Jitsu to beat Brock Lesnar. There are a lot of people that can beat him.”
With that said, is there any chance that we will see Rolles giving it a shot in the near future?
While anything is possible, the still developing submission expert seems to be more than content to not rush into things. At the same time, Gracie made sure to leave not even a shadow of a doubt to his plans for the future, explaining, “Of course, the greatest MMA event is the UFC, the biggest dream of the fighter is to fight at the UFC, but I want to go there when I think I’m ready. I don’t want to go there and go back.”