Roger Gracie’s Contract Not Renewed After UFC 162 Loss To Tim Kennedy


It’s been a tough go recently for former BJJ world champions in the UFC. First Vinny Magalhaes was knocked out in a mere 14 seconds at UFC 163, and today, news comes from Combate that Roger Gracie’s UFC contract will not be renewed. The former ADCC champ made his octagon debut at last month’s UFC 162, where he lost a lackluster bout against Tim Kennedy.

The fight was the last on a four-fight contract that Gracie had transferred over from Strikeforce. He started off strong against fellow Strikeforce import Kennedy, but appeared to gas as the bout wore on. Gracie himself noted that he would rather fight at light heavyweight rather than put on another performance like that at middleweight.

Unfortunately, it appears that his next fight will have to be in another promotion. Gracie is notably marked as one of the finest pure submission grapplers to ever hit the mats, having won multiple gold medals at the BJJ World Championships. But his submission prowess hasn’t translated into immediate success in MMA.

He sits with a decent 6-2 record, but it’s tough to make good on a poor first impression when your boss is Dana White. Perhaps a move back to light heavyweight is in the cards for Gracie, whose name recognition alone will probably warrant a spot on the Bellator or WSOF roster.

As the Gracie family’s best hope for a continuing presence in current MMA, I hope that Roger Gracie quickly finds a cage to get his MMA career back on track. It’s become increasingly obvious that a fighter has to be ultimately well rounded in order to find success in the UFC, and Gracie will have to do the same if he wants to fight on.

  • I think Roger's role in Mma would best be served in a coaching capacity. One of the best bjj minds on the planet.

    • He'll be in Bellator shortly. He'll do decent over there. UFC MW and LHW's are way to much for him.

  • Well, he did not look too well in his last outing. And he dropped a bout or two to stand up guys. Frankly, bjj seems to be effective against thugs and first time cash register hitters, but in MMA it is usually the lesser art. And when you do not have stamina it does not help either.

    • It just goes to show what happens to great grapplers when you mix in strikes. Jake Rosholt is another prime example.

  • Royce Gracie seems to be the only gracie to have any success. The rest have turned out to be duds in UFC.