In a somewhat surprising decision, the UFC has opted not to renew BJJ ace Roger Gracie’s contract, bringing an end to his brief spell in the UFC.
Gracie lost out to Tim Kennedy by decision in his UFC debut at UFC 162 in July, the last fight on the current deal he had with the now defunct Strikeforce promotion which the UFC had chosen to honor.
Apparently UFC officials weren’t impressed enough with what they saw to offer him a new deal and so he’s now a free agent.
Gracie’s performance was undoubtedly lackluster, but given his standing as one of the most decorated and highly regarded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world, coupled with an overall 6-2 MMA career, the general feeling post-fight was that they would have been willing to give him a second chance.
Instead, he becomes the latest in a short list of member’s of the Gracie fighting clan who’ve failed to emulate the early success of MMA pioneer Royce Gracie, with Renzo, Rolles and now Roger all picking up just a single defeat before being released.
It appears that Roger Gracie hasn’t given up on his MMA career just yet though, as he’s now contemplating a move back up to light-heavyweight.
It’s reasonable to expect that Gracie will attract a number of promotions who’ll look to capture his signature, with the likes of Bellator, World Series Of Fighting and ONE FC all being viable options.