Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Gracie’
With a fighting history that can be traced directly back to the origin of mixed martial arts nearly two decades ago, the legendary Gracie family will now bring its unique Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu influenced fighting style to the Bellator cage in 2011. Bellator Fighting Championships announced today the signing of fourth degree BJJ black belt Daniel Gracie to the Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament.
Daniel is a cousin to Renzo Gracie, Ralph Gracie, and the late Ryan Gracie. The two-time Jiu-Jitsu World Champion is currently set to enter the next chapter of his professional MMA career in Bellator’s first Light Heavyweight Tournament slated for March 2011. Gracie enters the tournament with a professional record of 5-2-1, recently ending a four-year hiatus due to a plaguing elbow injury with a comeback submission victory over Martin Wojcik just 2:17 into the first round.
“The Gracie family has truly influenced MMA as we know it today and I’m proud to say that heritage continues when Daniel steps into the Bellator cage to try to become our Light Heavyweight Champion” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “A Gracie back in the tournament format, is reminiscent of the days when the Gracie’s dominated MMA and that’s something I’m excited to see”.
The decorated submission grappler and PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran has competed primarily in the heavyweight division for much of his career but feels strongly that he will be better than ever at 205 lbs.
“I feel faster and like my technique is better when I fight at light heavyweight. I also feel like my cardio is much improved and I’m much more explosive at 205 lbs.,” said Gracie. “I feel like I’m just better all around at light heavyweight.”
Signing with Bellator is not only a return to MMA for the submission specialist but also a return to the tournament format for the Gracie family.
“This Bellator tournament is the Gracies getting back to our origins,” said Daniel. “The tournament is the way the Gracies got started in MMA. That will give me extra motivation to win this tournament.”
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gracie first began training Jiu-Jitsu at six years of age, eventually earning his black belt under Carlinhos Gracie at the ripe age of 23. Following two world championships in the sport, Gracie decided that he had done all he set out to do in Jiu-Jitsu and set his sights on MMA. Daniel began traveling to the United States to train alongside Renzo Gracie ten years ago and decided to make the move a permanent one in 2004. He currently operates his own Gracie school in Stamford, CT while training to fight out of the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York, New York.
Gracie says that although his eye is on the prize, he’s also focused on putting on good fights.
“I’m imagining myself winning this tournament, I have nothing but winning this tournament on my mind right now,” said Gracie. “Of course I know that anything can happen in MMA, but one thing I guarantee everyone that tunes in is that I’m going to put on a great show. You can bet on that.”
Every Friday, MMA DieHards will take a look – with video footage when possible – at the previous week’s action at small regional and international shows with a focus on UFC and Pride veterans, consensus-ranked fighters and up-and-coming prospects. Here’s what went down between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11:
Xtreme MMA 3 (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Nov. 6)
Strikeforce veteran Daniel Cormier (6-0) remained undefeated and retained his XMMA world heavyweight title with a first round submission, via strikes, of UFC and Pride vet Soa Palelei (11-3)…UFC and Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle (18-7-1) scored a first round TKO of Stephen Oliver (0-2)…Sengoku veteran Jim York (15-4) claimed the XMMA Oceania heavyweight championship with a second round TKO of Lucas Browne (6-2)…Xavier Lucas (8-1-1) knocked out UFC and Pride veteran Yuki Sasaki (22-17-1) in the fifth round of the XMMA world middleweight title bout.
Capital Fight 3 (Brasilia, Brazil; Nov. 5)
Francimar Barroso (10-2) earned a unanimous decision over Kleber Orgulho (5-3)… Genair Martins da Silva Junior (10-3) snuck out with a split decision win over Adriano Goncalves (7-5).
Real Fighting Championships 22: Redemption (Tampa, Fla.; Nov. 5)
Bellator and EliteXC veteran Yosmany Cabezas (9-2) earned a unanimous decision over Danny Babcock (6-3).
Armageddon Fighting Championships 4: Revelation (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Nov. 6)
2007 Abu Dhabi grappling champion Robert Drysdale (2-0) claimed Submission of the Night honors with a first round armbar submission of Clay Davidson (5-2)…Nick Hinchliffe (17-6) earned a unanimous decision over Mike Hackert (4-1).
Heat 16 (Osaka, Japan; Nov. 6)
Sengoku veteran A Sol Kwon (14-6) defeated UFC and Strikeforce veteran Ronald Jhun (24-24-2) via second round rear-naked choke submission…Dream veteran Taiei Kin (4-3) scored a first round TKO of Pride veteran Henry Miller (6-11).
Iron Fist 3 (Szczecin, Poland; Nov. 6)
In a fight that made Sherdog’s list of 10 November Tussles Worth Watching, Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (13-5) secured a guillotine choke that rendered Anthony Durnell (8-1) unconscious in the first round.
Raging Wolf X: Mayhem in the Mist 5 (Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Nov. 6)
No. 10-ranked 135-pound female fighter Alexis Davis (9-4) retained her Raging Wolf flyweight title with a first round rear-naked choke submission of EliteXC veteran Tonya Evinger (8-5)…UFC veteran Tom Egan (5-2) scored a second round TKO of Eric Attard (2-1).
River City MMA Battle (San Antonio, Tex.; Nov. 6)
Bellator veteran Richard Odoms (3-0) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision victory over TUF 10 alum Darrill Schoonover (10-3).
Samurai Fight Combat 4: Overload (Curitiba, Parana, Brazil; Nov. 6)
Pride veteran Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons (26-14) coaxed a first round tapout from William Dias (6-5) by way of guillotine choke in a fight that made Sherdog’s 10 November Tussles Worth Watching.
World Extreme Fighting 44: Saunders vs. Harshbarger (Kissimmee, Fla.; Nov. 6)
UFC veteran and TUF 6 alum Ben Saunders (9-3-2) forced Elijah Harshbarger to submit, due to strikes, in the first round.
X-1: Island Pride (Honolulu; Nov. 6)
Bellator veteran Edwin Aguilar (22-15) scored a first round TKO of EliteXC vet Kala “Kolohe” Hose (7-5)…In the finals of the X-1 light heavyweight tournament, Sang Soo Lee (16-9) claimed championship gold with a unanimous decision over ShoXC veteran Po’ai Suganuma (11-4).
German MMA Association: Minonzio vs. Zawada (Dusseldorf, Germany; Nov. 7)
Nordin Asrih (15-5-1) secured an armbar to submit Eduard Janetzko (0-1) in the first round.
Grachan 5 (Tokyo; Nov. 7)
Ken Hamamura (16-6-4) earned a split decision over Sengoku veteran Ye Won Nam (5-2)…Dream veteran Won Sik Park (9-2-1) scored a first round TKO of Jesse Sosa (0-2).
FiteNite 14 (Zapota, Costa Rica; Nov. 8 )
Bellator veteran Toby Imada (28-15) submitted Ludwig Salazar (12-10) in the second round via armbar…Alejandro Solano Rodriguez (13-4) scored a first round knockout of Sebastien Garguier (7-6).
K-1 World MAX 2010 (Tokyo; Nov. 8 )
In the lone MMA fight on the card, Olympic gold medalist judoka and Dream veteran Satoshi Ishii (3-1) locked in a kimura on late replacement Katsuyori Shibata (4-10-1) for the first round submission win.
Israeli Fighting Championship: Genesis (Tel Aviv, Israel; Nov. 9)
UFC and Pride veteran Ricco Rodriguez (45-11) missed weight by 10 pounds for his light heavyweight debut, forcing him to surrender 20 percent of his fight purse to his opponent, Bellator veteran Daniel Tabera (16-4-3). While Rodriguez couldn’t conquer the weight cut, he had little trouble dominating Tabera on the way to a unanimous decision victory in a fight that topped Sherdog’s 10 November Tussles Worth Watching…UFC and Pride veteran Jeff Monson (39-11) submitted Sergey Shemetov (3-5) via first round keylock. Post-fight, Monson announced his plans to drop to 205-pounds in the near future…In a 180-pound catchweight bout, UFC and Strikeforce vet Frank Trigg (20-8) scored a first round TKO of Roy Neeman (1-1)…Moshe Kaitz (3-2) scored the evening’s biggest upset, taking a unanimous nod over UFC veteran Hermes Franca (19-11)…UFC and Pride veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (10-8) earned a unanimous decision over Valdas Pocevicius (33-25-3)…Jeremy Knafo (1-0) took home a unanimous decision over UFC and Bellator veteran Shonie Carter (49-26-7). Following the loss, Carter stated that he might retire…In his first MMA fight since 2006, Pride and IFL veteran Daniel Gracie (5-2-1) locked in a rear-naked choke to submit Martin Wojcik (5-5) in the first round…Thiago Meller (17-3) needed just 35 seconds to trap Ariel Abargel (3-1) in an armbar for the submission victory.
What’s going on with Daniel Gracie?
Shanyna Baszler, Bruce Hoyer and Isaac Duncan bring on yet another of the legendary Gracie family to catch up on Not A Women’s MMA Show on the MMA DieHards Radio Network!
Not A Women’s MMA Show (NAWMMA) runs weekly at midnight Eastern (9 pm Pacific) on the MMA DieHards Radio Network with a live and embedded video stream. If you cannot catch the show live, it is available on demand at any time.