Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

No Holds Barred: Roger Gracie 

(Photo by Eddie Goldman/No Holds Barred)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with one of the top practitioners in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, who is now also starting to make his mark in mixed martial arts, Roger Gracie.

The accomplishments of Roger Gracie in BJJ and grappling have been historic. He has won the Mundials, the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, six times at his own weight and twice in the open weight division. In his most recent win there, in 2009, he submitted all of his opponents in both the super heavyweight and open weight divisions by a choke from the mount. He also took first place in both the 98 kg and absolute divisions at the 2005 ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship by submitting all eight opponents.

In addition, he runs the Roger Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in London in the U.K.

Like so many other members of the legendary Gracie family, Roger Gracie has been making the transition to mixed martial arts. He is presently 2-0 in MMA, having won fights with mixed martial arts veterans Ron Waterman in 2006 and Yuki Kondo in 2008, both by submission. He has recently signed to fight in Strikeforce, and will make his American and Strikeforce debut May 15 when he fights former UFC heavyweight champion and two-time NCAA wrestling champion Kevin Randleman in St. Louis, Missouri, in a light heavyweight bout. This card will be televised live in the U.S. on Showtime.

We spoke with Roger Gracie Thursday evening at the New York academy of his cousin, Renzo Gracie, where he is training for this fight with Kevin Randleman. We discussed how he is making this transition to mixed martial arts, his approach to fighting Kevin Randleman, and his plans to continue competing in BJJ while fighting in MMA. We analyzed his two previous mixed martial arts fights, and discussed why now he plans to be devoting more attention to fighting. He also explained why he has only fought twice in MMA until now. We discussed the role of grappling in mixed martial arts, why fighters from jiu-jitsu should stick with jiu-jitsu more than they have been doing, and how he does not plan to abandon this art to "entertain" people. He explained why having the Gracie name does not add pressure on him, and much more.

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