Royler Gracie: ‘I’m Glad I Helped Eddie Bravo To Build His Academy’

Royler Gracie: ‘I’m Glad I Helped Eddie Bravo To Build His Academy’



A few days ahead of his big clash with Eddie Bravo at Metamoris 3, Royler Gracie spoke with Luke Thomas of MMAfighting, and discussed his mindset, Eddie’s style and his preparation:

“You’re a multiple-time world champion in the gi, multiple-time world champion without the gi, multiple-time Pan Am champion. Did you ever think that one loss like this, so to speak, would carry on a life of its own or go this far?

I have one loss already from him and then he make his whole career on top of the win he had. I’m glad I helped him to build his academy. At least Royler helped him in something. It’s not only the victory he had, but his whole life he’s talking about Royler. I don’t think this is going to happen again.

It’s not going to be really bad for him if he loses. I don’t think it’s going to affect him. And it’s not even for me. Actually, we’re not competitors anymore and that’s going to be fun. On that side, I’ll really enjoy the time I’m there.

At this stage in my life, I don’t have nothing to lose. Probably he’s the same way. He’s not a competitor. He’s going to the world championships anymore. He’ll never be world champion, I know. What I did before, it’s over. What I’m going to do today, it doesn’t matter. I don’t think it’s going to affect [anything]. That’s how I think. It’s not going to affect what I do for jiu-jitsu before. I know who I am. I know where I’m coming from and then I know what I do for this sport.

The match is taking place under really interesting rules. It was originally full no gi and then through a back and forth process, he’s going to wear gi pants which you are allowed to grab. I’m also told you can grab each other’s rash guards, but have said you won’t. Is that right?

No, no. We can’t hold the rash guard. I don’t think so.

The deal is, as soon as you have a contract like three months ago. [The match] was supposed to be at 150 [pounds], 155. He said he cannot do 160. He said, ‘Can I do 165?’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’s no problem.’ And then ‘Can I use the pants?’ I say, ‘Oh, that’s a strategy’. He’s going to hold his own pants. He does this a lot. He makes the grip for himself.

I said ok, you can. Then, a month and a half after he comes back and says he’s not going to use the pants. I said, ‘Oh, we have an agreement. You’re asking me to sign and telling me you’re going to use the pants. I trained for you wearing pants. What if I tell you ok, this is no problem, you’re not going to use the pants. Then, one week before the match, you cannot come with the pants. It’s going to change everything. If I train to fight with no gloves, it’s going to be no gloves. If you put the gloves, it’s going to change a little bit. With the 16 ounces, it’s going to be completely different than UFC gloves.

He asked me. He’s the guy asking to use the pants. It’s not me. That’s the bottom line. He asked to fight with the pants. That’s the deal. I said, ‘Ok, you’re going to fight with the pants. You’re going to hold your own pants.’ He said yes. I’m going to hold, too.

Ok, no problem. We signed. We’re good.


Eddie Bravo trained in the gi. He’s a black belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He also says he dropped the gi and created his own style because he believes it hampered development for pure no gi or for use in MMA. Yet, in the case of this bout, he’s using gi pants, ostensibly for grips, which you can’t do in modern MMA or no gi grappling. Do you find that a little bizarre?

Well, I find [that], but I’m not say nothing because it’s his own style. It’s actually a controversy. He says, ‘Well, I like to use for MMA’, but all day he use the pants. You’re right, 100 percent.

I was thinking about this the other day. I say, ‘Hey man, the guy use the pants all day. He asks to fight with the pants and he says he uses his style to go to MMA. What are you talking about?’ It’s a little weird. But, that’s his style. It’s not my problem and I don’t have nothing to do with this.

If that’s how he feels comfortable to walk in his school all day long with the pants, probably he doesn’t like to walk with the shorts, it makes it look good a little more for the student. I don’t know.

Let’s talk about you for a moment. Your match with him was 11 years ago. Are you a different grappler today than you were then?

In 2003, I didn’t know who is Eddie Bravo. I walked in and I didn’t care who was in front of me. I was really mentally strong and a good competitor before, but sometimes you get something in mind and you over think the other guy. That’s when you make a mistake and sometimes it’s hard to recover.

Today, I probably don’t have the best shape I had at the time in 2003, 11 years ago. We need to realize that. But I know who is Eddie Bravo and then I know his weak part. I’m still going to be methodic, pay attention, twice more than the time we fought before.

If haven’t trained with someone, you never know. This guy is going to surprise you if you don’t know, if you don’t pay attention. You think, ‘Ah, ok. I’m good. I’m good enough.’ That’s how it works. I was thinking about back in the day, I said, ‘You know, I’m kinda over too much. Royler, I don’t have problem with this guy. Ah, this is nothing.’ That’s not supposed to be in a competition. You need to treat everybody as an equal. It’s like the final.”