The name Gracie is known around the MMA world.
Roger Gracie, an undefeated 205-pound prospect, hopes to make his family name even bigger as he works up the ladder in Strikeforce.
Gracie (4-0) will meet former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal on Saturday, September 10 at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov in Cincinnati.
With Dan Henderson expected to vacant the light heavyweight title to make a move to the UFC, Gracie and a host of other prospects will be chomping at the bit to stake a claim to a shot at the crown.
“We’ll see,” Gracie said. “The UFC, every single organization they bought they end up merging. We (don’t) known how long they’ll keep Strikeforce. They might keep it for a couple of years. They might kill it tomorrow. You never know.”
So, all Gracie can do is prepare for Lawal (7-1), a top-flight wrestler that has been out for several months after undergoing knee surgery.
“I think if he can be slippery and keep the fighting standing, he’ll have a chance not to get submitted,” Gracie said. “But I think if we fight on the ground, his chances are not very good.”
The 29-year-old has finished all four of his MMA opponents by submission, and has his goals laid out before him.
“I think it’s just (a matter of) getting ready to be the best fighter I can be,” Gracie said. “Fight against the best guys and hopefully win them all, and one day I can look back when I retire and say I fought them all and beat them all.
“Now I can retire happy.”
Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov will feature the semifinals of the tournament, as Josh Barnett meets Sergei Kharitonov and Daniel Cormier takes on Antonio Silva. The main card will be shown live on Showtime, while the prelims will be televised on HDNet.