Heralded as the future of the legendary Gracie clan, Roger Gracie made his MMA debut in 2006, but has only fought three times since. This is mostly due to the fact that Gracie was primarily dedicated to Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition, in which he dominated the world over.
During a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour with host Ariel Helwani, Gracie declared that his focus is now solely on his mixed martial arts career and, aside from competing at the BJJ Mundials, he will be pouring all of his effort into fighting MMA.
“Now I feel that I can dedicate 100 percent to MMA,” said Gracie. “Before, I wanted to do MMA but I still wanted to dedicate time to jiu-jitsu. To do both very well is hard, because one gets in the way of the other. Now, in this day, I’m very happy to compete once a year in the world championships, which I like to do every year. But the rest of the year is dedicated just to MMA. This sport is so big now, so evolved that if you don’t really take it serious, you don’t go anywhere,” he continued. “There are so many good fighters out there. It’s not a joke. If I take it lightly, I won’t go anywhere. For me to be able to succeed, to become a good fighter, I have to do it full-time. Now at this stage of my life, I’m ready for that, and I can leave everything else aside. I’m dedicated to MMA.”
Gracie explained that his other interests — his school, BJJ competition — can wait until after he’s put his time into fighting.
“If I have to spend the whole year dedicated just to fighting, I will do that,” he said. “I’m not going to jeopardize fighting. I’m going to be 30 this month. I have what, maybe another 10 years? After that, I can dedicate as much time as I want to my school, business or anything else. But the next 10 years is my fighting career. That’s my priority.”