It’s been three years since the Gracie name headlined a UFC pay per view event -- a miserable bit of business against Matt Hughes -- and fourteen since Royce Gracie was the promotion’s most popular and dominant fighter. Considering that the family has the breeding philosophy of rabbits, you’d think it would be relatively simple business to get another one in the cage.
Not so, but it’s irrelevant now: according to the fighter’s Twitter, Rolles Gracie has signed a three-fight deal with the UFC that could commence against 0-2 Mustapha al Turk in February.
Rolles, 31 and a Mir-sized 250 pounds at 6’4”, is 2-0 in the largely-stagnant Chinese MMA scene and 3-0 overall: his father, Rolls Gracie, was considered by many to be the family champion until his premature death in 1982. Rolles does not possess quite the same grappling credentials as Roger -- a recent Strikeforce acquisition -- but he is one of the first Gracies to adopt a modern training philosophy, dividing his time between Renzo Gracie’s Academy in New York and Greg Jackson’s gym in New Mexico.
Fair or not, that last name is probably going to earn him a main-card slot and a push in advertising: if the UFC does not capitalize on the most famous name in martial arts, their marketing team needs more Red Bulls.
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