Almost 20 years after the first UFC event, Roger Gracie (6-1) will continue his family’s tradition as he makes his UFC debut against former Strikeforce title contender Tim Kennedy (15-4) at UFC 162, July 6.
Although Gracie has only seven fights on his record, he has spent most of his career fighting world champions. In 2006, he made his professional MMA debut against former WEC champion Ron Waterman (16-6-2). Gracie also has wins over former UFC champion Kevin Randleman (17-17) and King of Pancrase Yuki Kondo (54-27-8).
His only loss came to Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Muhammad Lawal (10-2 1NC) back in 2011. Lawal, known to fans as “King Mo” knocked out Grace late in the first round.
Back in January, Gracie defeated Anthony Smith (17-10) with an arm-triangle choke in the second round.
Being a 2nd-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Gracie has all of the right tools to take Kennedy to the mat. Still, the former Strikeforce title contender has an extensive jiu-jitsu of his own and could give Gracie a challenge in the grappling game.
With UFC 162 taking place on one of the biggest weekends for the promotion, Gracie not only has a chance to show his talents to a larger audience, but also show the UFC that the Gracie name is still associated with the best fighters in the world.
How do you think Gracie will do in his UFC debut against Kennedy? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.