Kron Gracie faced MMA veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri at the Rizin Fighting Federation Grand Prix: Final Round event on December 31st, 2016. He won via rear-naked choke in the second round. This improved his professional MMA record to 4-0. Kron also pulled guard twice just as he did in his other MMA fights.
His father, the legendary Rickson Gracie was in Kron’s corner in Japan.
In an interview with Combate.com, Rickson talked about his son:
“I’m very proud about the result and for the work that is done objectively for MMA,” he said. “Kron’s preparation is not just technical; it’s physical, mental, and is being worked on in a very harmonious, complete way, to the point that he performs at 110% in all areas. I don’t see the result as news or a surprise — I see it as the confirmation of a work. Without any doubt, this was the biggest win of his career.”
He added that Kron Gracie uses a ‘self defense guard’ which other BJJ fighters don’t know:
“Kron isn’t a striking expert but he has developed his to the point where he feels comfortable standing. He doesn’t feel forced to take the bout to the ground. When he feels it is the ideal moment, without hesitation, he does and displays a specific guard for MMA, much different from the one used in competitive BJJ. The difference is that, on the self-defense guard, you keep your opponent under pressure in order to have room to strike. BJJ fighters are afraid to pull into guard, because they don’t know the self-defense guard.”
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Kron talked about why he has pulled guard in all his past MMA Fights:
“I DIDN’T TRAIN TO PULL GUARD. IT SIMPLY HAPPENED,” HE SAID. “I DON’T THINK HE LET ME DO THIS, I JUST THINK HE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH OPTION. THE WAY I PULLED GUARD, IT WAS TOUGH (FOR HIM TO ESCAPE). I DON’T THINK HE EXPECTED THAT. AND ME NEITHER. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED THAT MOMENT, AND IT’S HARD TO DEFEND FOR SOMETHING YOU DON’T EXPECT.”