Two weeks before his second fight under the ONE Championship banner, Roger Gracie received some news. He wouldn’t need to cut more weight, and his fight with Michal Pasternak would be for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Gracie, who stopped James McSweeney in his promotional debut in December 2014, faces the undefeated Pasternak at ONE Championship 41, which takes place Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Gracie moved up to 205 pounds after leaving the UFC, but his upcoming clash will be for the 225-pound title. The promotion recently made some changes in their weight classes, and the 205-pound weight class is now called middleweight.
Eyeing to become the first ONE light heavyweight champion, the Brazilian is also interested in adding another belt to his collection right after.
“The opportunity came and I accepted it right away,” Gracie told MMA Fighting. “I’m feeling great, and I can’t let this opportunity pass by despite being a division above. If everything goes right, my plan is to call out the middleweight champion next and win two belts, but let’s focus on this fight first.”
More than adding a title on the line, Gracie’s clash with Pasternak is now a five-round fight, but the jiu-jitsu specialist expects to finish his opponent before the third round.
“It affects the strategy and the psychological aspect because I was training for three rounds, so you have to change your strategy a bit since it’s five rounds now,” he said. “It changes a lot. But I think it’s a great opportunity.
“If I had to predict, I’d say it won’t get past the second round. I’ve studied my opponent a lot and he’s super tough, but I’m very confident and believe in my game. If everything goes as I plan, I think I’ll defeat him in the second round. But ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting