Mixed martial arts blue-blood Renzo Gracie claims he feels better than ever despite being inactive for eight years in professional fighting.
Gracie said that at 51, his advantages will be on the mental side of the game:
“People say ‘Oh you are old. You’re older now.’ I’m not old. If you try to ask me [if I want to] be younger, I wouldn’t want to,” said Gracie during the press conference of ONE: Reign of Kings.
“I feel sorry for the other guys. I feel sorry for the stupidity, the ignorance, and the lack of knowledge that the young people have. And I’m glad I’m above that.”
Gracie – whose family pioneered Brazilian jiu-jitsu – is set to engage in a legend vs. legend bout with fellow promotional debutant Yuki Kondo on Friday, Jul. 27, at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay. And according to him, the love of the sport is what keeps him going more than anything else.
“Most people only see money. When (ONE Championship chairman) Chatri [Sityodtong] asked me, how much I want for the fight, I said I want a dollar,” Gracie shared.
Sityodtong praised Renzo, saying he is the “greatest” fighter to come out of the legendary Gracie family.
“Here’s the thing about Renzo and he’ll never say it but I think generally he is the greatest Gracie. And obviously the Gracie family is the royal family of mixed martial arts but he is the greatest,” said the ONE founder.
“Remember when the old school guys were doing the whole one hand out and just looking for a Jiu-Jitsu takedown, Renzo was throwing a left hook, low leg kick, he was way ahead of his time.”
Gracie will have a shot at redemption as his last pro fight ended via a third round technical knockout (TKO) loss against Matt Hughes at UFC 112 in 2010. Prior to that Gracie has not fought since 2007 meaning he has only competed once in the last decade. But for Gracie, aging is just a state of mind.
“If you believe that you are old at 30 or if you believe you’re very young at 30, both ways you are right. So you are what you believe. I believe I’m better now than when I was 25,” said the elite grappler.