Roger Gracie responds to Royce criticism
It is widely held that MMA has developed from its Vale Tudo origins, drawing now from striking, BJJ, and above all, from wrestling. The Gracie family has been sometimes faulted for not keeping up with the changes in the sport.
However, in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie took a contrarian sstance, arguing that the reason Gracie family fighters are not doing well is actually because they are cross training. The interview followed Roger Gracie’s one-sided, three-round decision loss to Tim Kennedy, in a fight that saw Kennedy land 54 of 92 punches thrown, while Roger landed just 12 of 29.
“Jiu-jitsu is enough,” said Royce. “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 guys from the family want to complement their game, like if jiu-jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history.”
“Roger, like any other member of the family, is trying to learn wrestling, boxing. 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.”
Contacted by Cruz, Roger offered a defense that in part agreed with Royce.
“If you see my last fight, I only threw two punches in the whole fight,” Roger told Cruz.
“If there’s something that I did do in that fight was jiu-jitsu, but I got tired and couldn’t do what I was planning to do. But that’s his opinion, right?”
What do you think UG? Do you still beleve in pure jiu-jitsu?