Roger Gracie Signs with ONE FC

Roger Gracie has joined ONE FC. The towering middleweight confirmed via that he signed with the Singaporean promotion this week.

Gracie (6-2) holds a third-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and is the grandson of Carlos Gracie, one of the founders of modern BJJ.

Before joining ONE FC, Gracie had fought in BodogFight, World Victory Road, and Strikeforce. He also had one match in the UFC, which he lost to Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision.

After his loss to Kennedy, the UFC chose not to resign Gracie. Roger claims money was the issue:

“I left the UFC because they didn’t want to sign another contract with me after my deal was over. According to them, I was weak compared with other fighters. They didn’t want to pay me as much as Strikeforce. I wouldn’t accept an offer to earn less money and I didn’t want to fight without expectations. It’s better for me stay in my gym.”

He also referred to the UFC as a monopoly:

“The UFC has monopolized everything but there are other organizations. The problem is that, once the UFC is the biggest organization, they control how much the fighters earn and they don’t pay that good. I have my gym and I don’t need the money from MMA to pay my bills.”

The 32-year-old Gracie plans on doing two or three fights a year with ONE, but told he probably won’t fight for more than four or six years:

“I plan to do two or three (MMA) fights a year. I will be 33 years old in a couple months, so realistically speaking I don’t have too many years as an athlete. Only a few extraordinary athletes can keep doing this until they are 40, but I don’t see myself fighting at 40 years old. I think I will retire by 36 or 38.”

Gracie, who has won numerous gold medals in BJJ, also told that he has no plans of giving up the sport his family created:

“I’m coming back to MMA now, but I will also do jiu-jitsu. If I can’t enter tournaments like the (IBJJF) World Championship, I can do superfights. There are a lot of great talents out there that I would like to compete with.”

Roger Gracie will probably make his ONE FC debut later this year.


Chris Zahar is an American-born journalist. He has been covering Asian MMA since 2013, and his work has been featured in both Fight of the Night and Yahoo Sports. He has also interviewed such top Asian, ONE FC stars as Rob Lisita, Paul Cheng, and Sam "Sung Ming Yen." Chris also has the honor of training at TOUGH MMA, the only Taiwanese fight team to have exclusive partnership with ONE Fighting Championship. In his spare time, Chris not only enjoys mixed martial arts, but studies politics, philosophy, and Chinese. He is also happily married and a proud father to his son. Chris resides in Taiwan.