Being a member of the Gracie family makes you more respected in the MMA world, but that does not guarantee you the victory.
Neiman Gracie was the only one of the three Gracie members to win at WSOF 5 this past Saturday night, and Royce Gracie believes the reason why his family isn’t winning most of their fights anymore is because they are forgetting their roots.
"Jiu-jitsu is enough," Royce Gracie told MMAFighting.com. "I’ve trained boxing in the past to learn the distance, trained wrestling to understand how he would take me down, but I won’t get there to fight my opponent’s game. The (new) guys (from the Gracie) family want to complement their game, like if jiu-jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history."
Gregor and Rolles Gracie both lost at WSOF 5, and that dropped the family record to 3-4 in 2013. Over the past decades, Royce, Renzo and Rickson have racked up 32 wins in 44 bouts combined, a winning rate of 72.72 percent. Since 2000, however, that number has dropped to 58.82 percent with the family’s 60 wins in 102 fights.
"I do jiu-jitsu my whole life, so why would I try to stand and bang with Mike Tyson?," he said. "I’m going to learn boxing in six months because my opponent is good in boxing? That makes no sense."
Roger, Renzo and Rolles have fought recently in the UFC, and all of them lost their bouts inside the Octagon. Tim Kennedy was the last man to deliver a loss to a Gracie member in the UFC with a decision win over Roger Gracie last July.
Royce believes Roger Gracie, one of the best jiu-jitsu fighters of all times, needs to focus on what he does best.
"Roger, like any other member of the family, is trying to learn wrestling, boxing," he said. "I believe in pure jiu-jitsu. That’s what I’ve done in the past. You have to go back to your roots and train Gracie jiu-jitsu."
"Tim Kennedy is one of the toughest guys in my opinion," he continued. "If Roger had defeated him, he’d have deserved a title shot. Tim Kennedy is really, really tough. Why they cut Roger I really don’t know either, I have no idea.