Roger Gracie ‘already expected’ UFC release after first loss

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Roger Gracie had only one opportunity inside the Octagon, and that was enough for Dana White and Joe Silva.

Gracie moved to the UFC after Zuffa purchased Strikeforce, seeking the first win of his family in the Octagon since 1994. Considered the one of the best fighters in the history of jiu-jitsu, with 10 world titles in black belt competition, Roger dropped to 6-2 in MMA with a unanimous decision loss to Tim Kennedy at UFC 162. It was his last fight on the contract, and the UFC opted not to renew.

Combate first reported the release, and Gracie confirmed the news to MMAFighting.com.

"My contract expired after my last fight and I kind of expected (to be released) after that fight," Gracie told MMAFighting.com. "They spoke to my managers but didn’t reach a deal, so my contract wasn’t renewed."

Roger, who turns 32 next month, guaranteed he will keep fighting.

"I’m deciding what to do next," he said. "I will keep fighting MMA because that’s what I chose to do. I will see where to go now. There’s nothing set yet."

The Brazilian, who started his MMA career at heavyweight, moved down to light heavyweight when he signed with Strikeforce. After his first loss in MMA to Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal in 2011, he decided to drop again to 185 pounds, but struggled to make weight in his three middleweight bouts.

"That weight cut affected me a lot in this last fight, so I don’t know," said Gracie about his future. "I’ll do some tests on the next two or three months then I’ll decide in which weight class I will fight. I always cut from 220 pounds (to 185 pounds). If I manage to keep my weight lower than that it will be a lot easier to cut. If not, I’ll move back (to light heavyweight)."

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