Rickson: ‘Kron Wants To Become The Champion of the Gracie Family’

Rickson: ‘Kron Wants To Become The Champion of the Gracie Family’

Photo: Esther Lin, MMA Fighting.


Kron Gracie will have his second MMA fight in Japan once again, on the New Year’s Eve card of Rizin Fighting Federation.

Rizin announced at a press conference on two weeks ago that Kron would face 19-year-old Asen Yamamoto, the nephew of Japanese MMA fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. The fight will be at 145 lbs bout on Rizin’s NYE card.

Gracie made his MMA debut last December in Tokyo, and he won by arm bar in under 65 seconds against Korea’s Hyung Soo Kim. The fight was at 160 lbs.

Yamamoto has wrestled since he was three years old and comes from a family of fighters and wrestlers. His uncle is Norifumi Kid Yamamoto, his aunt is world wrestling champion and his grandfather is former Olympian Ikuei Yamamoto. Asen took home gold in the 152-pound division at the FILA Cadet World Championship and is preparing for 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

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Kron and Rickson


Rickson Gracie told Rizin Fighting Federation about what he expected from his son and his relationship with him throughout the years:


“I would like to thank Mr. Sakakibara for giving me, Kron and the Gracie family to participate with Rizin. And I am very happy that kron was given an opportunity to fight Asen. Kron is training hard and is in great shape so he will bring 100% to the ring. This fight will be a fight that will determine the future of MMA. The modern MMA rules take away the Bushido Spirit from the fighters by their short rounds and point system. And the cage becomes the 3rd element and takes away from realistic fightimg situation. But Rizin will bring back the longer rounds and the ring with ropes. This will emphasize the fighters to finish which will bring back the true warrior spirit to the fighters and I am very happy for that.”

—What kind of parenting and training have you been doing on Kron

I have been teaching Kron Jiu Jitsu even before he started to think, by naturally positioning the body in and putting him in certain situations. He really started training Jiu Jitsu when he was 7. Before his matches, I would always tell him “I will give you 1 toy if you win. If you lose, I will give you 2”. The meaning behind that is to make him understand that I will not be mad if he loses. I have never put him under pressure to win. I believe that I have taught him that we can always learn more from a loss and work on it. When he was 12 or 13, he told me that he no longer wanted to practice Jiu Jitsu and started skateboarding but after a couple broken bones, he came back to the Dojo. And as he put himself in the environment, he began to love Jiu Jitsu.

—Do you still teach Kron

About 3 years ago, Kron said to me, “Dad, I am really grateful and appreciate all of the knowledge, technique, strategy you have taught me. But I want to go further. From this point on, you are not responsible and everything I do is my decision, my responsibility.” I was really proud of him. And from that day on, he started training harder, watched what he eats, and he is showing his dedication. He has a strong will to become the face of the Gracie family, to become the Champion.

—From a third person’s point of view, how is Kron as a fighter

I think he is very talented. He is working very hard to polish his talents. He is not stubborn, he tries out new things to get better, and is training MMA a lot. I think his strongest weapon is his mind. He has a very strong mentality and always challenging himself, and overcoming it. I truly respect his “All or nothing” style.

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