Universally recognized as one of the top BJJ and submission grapplers on the planet, Roger Gracie has accomplished much in his highly-publicized career. The London native has won world championships in the CBJJ World Championships, the ADCC Submission Wrestling Championships, and at the Pan American Games, just to name a few accolades in his grappling career.
Naturally, the next step for the one of the most notable in the latest generation of the historic Gracie family was to transition into Mixed Martial Arts. And while his skill set was certainly adaptable, Roger Gracie still had (has) a lot to learn in order to rule this sport as well.
The 27-year old Roger Gracie began his MMA career with a submission win over Ron Waterman (armbar) in the BodogFight promotion. He then continued on with another submission win, this time by rear-naked choke, over former top-10 contender and King of Pancrase, Yuki Kondo. Now with two wins, under his belt, he looks to continue his growth and catapult himself into stardom with a new audience, in America.
SI.com reports that Scott Coker has confirmed that Roger Gracie and the Strikeforce promotion are close to finalizing terms on a multi-fight contract. Coker stated to Sports Illustrated that Gracie would first compete on the upcoming Strikeforce Challenger series, a showcase or up-and-coming fighters to be featured on the Showtime network.
“We’re going to see if we can create some awareness with him, see how he does fighting-wise, and take it from there,” Coker told SI. “We’re going to give him every opportunity to crossover into MMA. He’s going to have plenty of time to see if he really likes to do it.”
With Coker’s goal of bringing Gracie along slowly as an up-and-coming fighter, it seems that he is still a ways off from challenging Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. Time will tell whether Roger Gracie can continue the family legacy and re-establish Gracie dominance in a new era.