Cesar Gracie: Keeping it in the Family
Tonight in San Jose, Calif. one of the greatest fighters to grace a
ring or cage within the sport of mixed martial arts will return to
action. And former UFC champion Frank Shamrock (Pictures) will finally land his dream of
fighting a member of the esteemed Gracie Family.
Many within the sport have wondered why Shamrock has been dead set
on fighting a Gracie before he finally calls it a day. In recent
years Shamrock’s focus has rested on Cesar Gracie, whom he’ll fight
in a sold-out HP Pavilion Friday.
“That’s actually a legitimate question,” Gracie told Sherdog.com.
“You should ask Frank that. I don’t know why he has been adamant
about fighting me. Ask him.”
But don’t think Gracie, Frank’s opponent in the main event, is
going to sit back and allow Shamrock to steamroll him like many
believe will happen.
After being dragged through the mud, Gracie hopes to prove to the
world that he belongs in the cage with an all-time great. And if he
should inflict damage upon a man he doesn’t exactly consider his
best friend, he won’t mind.
“I wouldn’t say that I like the guy,” he said. “But I certainly
don’t have any animosity towards him. I am definitely not friends
with him but like I said, I can be cordial and there is no hatred
or anything like that. I am just not, you know, buddies of the guy
and I don’t really think that highly of him. I don’t particularly
care for Frank, but I certainly don’t hate him.”
One can’t blame Gracie for feeling a bit perturbed. After all, this
showdown between Frank and Cesar has been in the works for years.
It’s been a wild circus of name-calling, agreements, disagreements
and locations that have fallen through. To say the least, Gracie is
a fed up man who was on the verge of exploding.
“I am happy that this fight is finally going forward,”
Gracie professed. “It’s been in the making for a very long time and
the two of us can finally move forward. All that he said-she said
nonsense is over now and we can look forward to having a good
fight. You have no idea how relieved I am that this fight is
finally happening. I never thought it would happen but here we
The name of the event itself — “Shamrock versus Gracie” — would
usually send shivers down the spines of many an MMA fan. It’s a
rivalry between the two most celebrated families in MMA and the
promoters of the show are hyping it up beyond belief.
But it means little to Cesar.
“It’s not some sort of family rivalry with this fight,” he said.
“It’s Cesar versus Frank and that’s it. Ken fought Royce many years
ago and I guess they had a rivalry. But I don’t consider my fight
with Frank to be a rivalry. I really don’t think there even is a
rivalry between us and the Shamrock family, really. This is just a
The main event between Shamrock and Gracie isn’t the only good
fight on the card. The show is a solid one from top to bottom and
the Shamrock-Gracie battle isn’t the only worthwhile match-up on
the bill. Notable figures within the fight game are competing and
Gracie isn’t the only one glowing over the first-ever sanctioned
MMA event in state history.
“I feel really good,” Gracie said. “This card is going to be great
as there are many good fighters on the card and some of my fighters
representing our school. It’s an honor to represent the Gracie
family by fighting on the first sanctioned MMA card in California.
I am honored to be a part of it, to represent my family and to be
fighting in the main event. It’s great.”
The event itself should be one for the ages and Gracie promised
that he’d do his part to make his battle with Shamrock a memorable
one. While he isn’t one to make absurd predictions Gracie simply
“I expect there to be blood,” he deftly chuckled. “There should be
blood, cuts, and bruising. It should be a great fight and I believe
it will end in a knockout — whether it’s me or him that gets
knocked out. Hopefully it will be him getting knocked out and not
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