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Exclusive: Royler Gracie Talks State of BJJ in MMA

royler gracie

As MMA continues to grow, and the skill sets of fighters continue to evolve, every now and then you’ll hear someone claim that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not as integral to a successful career as it once was. Is it an argument with any merit? Of course not.

Recently, RM Sports caught up with legendary fighter and BJJ guru Royler Gracie, and asked the 47 year-old for his opinion on the current state of jiu-jitsu in MMA. Here is some of what Gracie had to say:

“Today in MMA everybody’s training jiu-jitsu. Now most these guys, they be out there and they’re a champion, they’re a black belt. You see the big names today; Anderson (Silva), “Shogun” (Rua), you see (Fabricio) Werdum, you see all the guys, Demian Maia has beautiful jiu-jitsu. All these guys are black belts…if you don’t train in jiu-jitsu, I don’t think you’re supposed to be involved in MMA.”

As Gracie accurately points out, not only are are many of the sport’s top stars BJJ black belts, but developing a ground game is still crucial to fighting.

Of course, there’s also the additional argument that the unified rules of MMA have reduced the abilities of high level grapplers to win fights, due to referee prompted stand-ups, rounds ending etc.

Thus, this is why Royler’s brother Royce recently relayed at the UFC 167 festivities that he prefers MMA with “No gloves, no time limit, no weight division.” Those were interesting times.

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