It’s been a minute since Renzo Gracie last took a fight in MMA. In fact, it’s been over 4 million minutes, to be a little more precise. The legendary head of the Renzo Gracie BJJ Academy and Renzo Gracie Combat Team was last seen wearing a pair of 4oz gloves back in 2010, when he took a lopsided beating at the hands of Matt Hughes.
In the years since, he’s done some competitive submission grappling, most notably taking on Mario Sperry at the 2011 ADCCs and Kazushi Sakuraba at Metamoris V in 2014. And all during that time, he’s teased the possibility of returning to mixed martial arts competition. Still, it was something of a surprise to see what felt like a pipe-dream become reality, with the announcement that Gracie would face fellow MMA legend – and former Pancrase star & UFC title contender – Yuki Kondo.
Kondo, a veteran of over 100 fights – whose unbroken career stretches all the way back to the ‘No Holds Barred’ era of MMA – faced Gracie this past Friday, July 27th at ONE FC: Reign Of Kings. And after an uneventful first round, Renzo shot in for a single leg early in round 2. From there he transitioned to a bodylock back take and dragged Kondo to the mat. The rest was history.
Even before the fight, Gracie announced that this would not be a ‘farewell’ bout, but rather a re-ignition of his competitive cage-fighting career. What that may mean for a next bout remains to be seen, but fans of the old-school BJJ legend can likely look forward to seeing him fight again in the not too distant future.