Another member of the Gracie clan has joined the Bellator roster.
Son of the legendary Marcelo Behring and grandson of jiu-jitsu founder Carlos Gracie, Kywan Gracie Behring has signed an exclusive multi-year, multi-fight contract to compete in the Bellator welterweight division, MMA Fighting has learned.
Gracie Behring made his professional MMA debut in July, defeating Jake Watkins via first-round TKO in a middleweight bout in England. The Brazilian 170-pounder is a black belt under jiu-jitsu icon Roger Gracie.
“I took this fight on five days’ notice as an experience, to see how I would feel entering the cage,” Gracie Behring told MMA Fighting. “It was easier than training with Neiman (Gracie) in New York [laughs].
“I didn’t even know who the guy was, it’s a small show here in London. If I can’t beat these guys, I’m not beating anyone else, right? [laughs] But it was alright. It was a quick fight.”
The 30-year-old welterweight will become the fifth Gracie to ever compete in the Bellator cage, making the list that includes Royce Gracie, Neiman Gracie, Khonry Gracie and Robson Gracie Jr. Bellator now ties with the UFC as the second promotion with most Gracies to ever fight under its banner behind PRIDE (nine).
Bellator has yet to inform him of a date and opponent for his debut, but he’s expecting to enter the circular cage for the fight time in one of Bellator’s European cards in February.
“I'm really happy to sign a contract with Bellator,” he said, “And I can't thank (Bellator Europe's) Jude Samuel enough for the opportunity of being part of the promotion.”
Gracie Behring told MMA Fighting back in 2015 he wasn’t interested in making the transition from jiu-jitsu to mixed martial arts. Four years later, he’s in it for gold.
“My goal in MMA is to come in and become champion,” he said. “I’m not here to have fun. It’s about being the best and fighting the best. Whenever they can, I’ve already asked them to give me Dillon Danis. He talks too much. Every time he opens his mouth he’s talking crap.”
Danis, a fellow jiu-jitsu ace who transitioned to MMA in 2018, is 2-0 under the Bellator banner with first-round submission wins over Kyle Walker and Max Humphrey.
Gracie Behring, who holds a win over Danis’ friend Conor McGregor in a jiu-jitsu match, is not impressed.
“His striking is weak, his jiu-jitsu is okay, nothing extraordinary. Nothing he does impresses me,” the Brazilian said of Danis. “I think he’s a good name who brings a lot of eyeballs. Everybody wants to watch him fight — most want to see him lose — and I think I’m the one to beat him. He’s an easy fight with a good name.”