GF- Rashad Evans recently was promoted by Rolles Gracie to Blackbelt. Any thoughts?
Renzo- It was a recognition from Rolles that Rashad should compete in the highest categories of gi-less grappling competitions. In the Gi-less World Championships for example you cannot compete in the Blackbelt division no matter how long you've been grappling unless a certified instructor gives you a belt for that division. Can I say that Rashad has worked his way up in the correct belt order with a gi? Of course not and I don't think as a pro fighter he will be doing gi tournaments anytime soon. I differentiate between gi and gi-less and apparently Rolles found him ready for the belt in gi-less. I don't think you should give someone a belt in a locker room. Not sure if that was Rolles' idea.
GF-As far as Rolles training at Greg Jackson's, is there a new alliance of some sort and has Rolles joined Jackson's team?
Renzo- There's some bigger guys there to spar with and he's made some friends and had a good time training but he fights under our banner. As you know GSP and Rashad have trained with us so we thought it would be fine if he spent some time out there mixing it up.
GF-How is your training going for your upcoming fight?
Renzo- Great. I've already lost a lot of weight and am happy to be fighting in Abu Dhabi against Matt Hughes. I watched that fight with Gil Melendez and was impressed with his heart and determination. I'll be watching Nate and Nick's fights this month and hope they can come up to NYC afterwards.
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