UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie had some pretty harsh words to say about the new generation of Gracie fighters, claiming they had forgotten their history and diluted their game by trying to train in wrestling and boxing.
The comments were directed towards Roger Gracie, in the wake of his defeat to Tim Kennedy at UFC, but also cme at a time when Gregor and Rolles Gracie were fresh off WSOF 5 defeats of their own. MMA legend Renzo Gracie steeped in and defended his students, via MMAFighting.com:
"In order to make a negative comment about the Gracie family, you have to help the Gracie family," Renzo told Ariel Helwani "You have to actually be producing new champions, putting your time to build new champions. I don’t remember Royce doing that."
Renzo is a teacher of the three mentioned younger Gracies, whereas Royce chooses not to teach the younger or newer family members; and it appears Renzo doesn’t know why.
"I don’t need to ask (him), he probably asks himself that every day," he said. "Why am I going to ask him that? A man knows what he should think. We were born with that privilege. If you're comfortable laying your head in the pillow thinking that what you’re doing is the right thing you do it, but don’t judge the others. Don’t come pointing fingers. I can talk bad about people because when they need me I'm there… I know how hard they work."
Royce Gracie was the winner of UFC 1 and the son of the legendary Helio Gracie. A black belt in BJJ by the age of 18, Royce was taught by his older brothers and father but does not seem happy in continuing the tradition.
Maybe it is the modern style of MMA or perhaps he doesn’t see the potential in the younger generation that Renzo deos.
"Each man chooses their path," he said. "How can I judge someone if I don't walk on their shoes? It's their comfort zones. Unfortunately, I cannot just sit and watch. Don't judge others with harsh word on situations that you didn't try to improve them. This is the portrait of life. People will claim that we forgot who we are, that we forgot jiu-jitsu. ... We didn't forget s--t, man. We are 100% what we are. We live, eat and breathe what we do.”
With the recent losses, it appears that the new generation of Gracies could do with a pep talk from uncle Royce. Maybe his influence could be the ticket to bringing titles back to the families grasp.
"Come train them, and then you're going to be able to evaluate the reality. Sometimes people move away from reality and start dreaming, and they start living in the dreamland, judging others by their dreams or believing what people tell them."
With Roger cut from the UFC after his disappointing performance against Kennedy, and a rift between Renzo and Royce, could we be seeing the end of one of the greatest MMA/BJJ families?