The Gracie family will never leave the world of mixed martial arts and six members of the family are still building the legacy in MMA.
When talking about pioneers in mixed martial arts, any conversation will usually involve the Gracie family. Names such as Royce, Rickson and Helio set the stage for what would become mixed martial arts throughout much of North America. However, as time has passed that name has lost prominence in mainstream fighting circles. But that doesn’t mean the Gracie family is out of the spotlight. In fact, members of said dynasty are making their way back to the upper-echelon and we may be in for a resurgence of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in MMA.
Whenever talking about mixed martial arts, the UFC must be referenced as it’s the biggest stage in the game. Many years have passed since Royce Gracie put the world on notice in the early days of the UFC. While the men and women that carry the legacy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might not come to mind as top contenders across the sport, that doesn’t mean the Gracie family has disappeared for MMA. In fact, there are more than a few prospects within that bloodline whom may hold a major title as their careers tend to develop.
Neiman Gracie is a 4th generation member of the family and recently competed for the Bellator Welterweight championship. Even though he dropped a decision to Rory MacDonald, Gracie’s performance in the Welterweight Grand Prix has impressed many pundits of the sport. With a 9-1 professional record, Neiman has a lot of talent and intrigue looming around what is next in his six-year professional career. He jumped right into MMA at a high level, competing for World Series of Fighting then making the move to Bellator, and that hasn’t slowed his growth. His biggest win was against Ed Ruth at Bellator 213 and he looks poised to remain among the top contenders for that organization’s 170-pound title.
But whenever one is talking about MMA, there must be a tidbit about the UFC where there’s another member of the Gracie family looking to carve out his spot. Kron Gracie may not have the number of BJJ medals as some of his relatives, but he’s coming into MMA with the largest amount of hype. The 2013 ADCC champion made his UFC debut back in February and smoothly submitted Alex Caceres in the first round. At 30-years of age he’s at his athletic prime and seems to be taking his time developing all his skills to make a run in the Octagon. He’s one of the hottest prospects the company has signed, and many are expecting him to be a title contender in a short time.
While these may be the two biggest names in the Gracie family that are still competing, they are far from the only ones fighting. Robson Gracie Jr is a 2-0 fighter that has had all his professional bouts under the Bellator banner; most recently competing at Bellator 222. Khonry Gracie is yet another member of the family that is a part of the Bellator organization. He’s 1-1 in his professional career and last fought in 2018 where he defeated Ron Becker at Bellator 209. Ralek Gracie fought for Bellator back in 2017 but has not appeared for the organization since.
While much of the attention may be placed on the youngest members of the Gracie family still competing in MMA, it would be a major mistake to ignore one of the most well-known men carrying that last name, Renzo. At 52-years of age the eccentric personality is still popping up in MMA, last fighting ONE Championship – Reign of Kings where he defeated Yuki Kondo via submission in the second round. Renzo Gracie is one of the most prominent members of the family and remains close to the industry that they built.
Gracie’s fighting in MMA right now are:
- Kron Gracie
- Neiman Gracie
- Robson Gracie Jr
- Khonry Gracie
- Ralek Gracie
- Renzo Gracie
Mixed martial arts will probably never be without a Gracie member taking up the family legacy. With so many different branches and so many promotions, it may be hard to keep up with who is fighting where. However, after a little digging, it will not take long to find someone with the last name Gracie who is always hunting for the sub.