How Royce Gracie knew son Khonry was ready to fight MMA

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Could Khonry Gracie be the next MMA phenom? His famous father, Royce Gracie, isn’t sure, but the signs look good.

At the very least, the UFC Hall of Famer knew when his son was ready to cross over into the family business. Prior to the 20-year-old’s amateur debut in September, he fell asleep backstage.

“He kept himself composed the whole time,” Gracie told reporters at a media luncheon. “He put a towel over his face and fell asleep. I do the same thing.”

Four months later, Khonry Gracie (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is set to make his professional debut vs. Devon Brock (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 192, which takes place Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.. The event’s main card airs live on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The way Royce tells it, Khonry pressured him to get to this point. Those pleas were mostly ignored until the youngster shifted away from his passion to play soccer and started ramping up on MMA training.

“He’s been bugging me for at least a couple of years, and I keep saying, ‘Nope, you’re not ready yet,’” Royce said. “(Khonry said), ‘Well, sign me up and I’ll be ready.’ (I said), ‘No, you’re not ready. I’ll let you know.’

“I was waiting for him to mature a little more. A little more ripe. He started taking the training a little more seriously. That’s when I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ I was like, ‘I just signed you up.’”

Royce, Rodrigo and Royler Gracie will all be in Khonry’s corner on fight night. Not a bad trio of advisers for one’s first time out.

Royce said he’s never pressured his son to become a fighter – only to learn how to defend himself.

“At least know what you’re doing,” he said.” That’s what I tell my kids. You don’t have to teach, you don’t have to fight, but know, because, ‘Oh, you’re Royce Gracie’s son. Can you fight?’ The question is going to pop up one day in your life. Not just to me, but my cousins, my brothers, and the next generation on and on.”

Royce goes so far as to encourage his children to get into trouble, even though Khonry largely has stayed out of it.

“I actually encourage them, ‘Get yourself in trouble, because it’s my job to get you out of trouble. If you don’t get in trouble, I can’t do my job,’” Royce said. “Don’t confuse that with being stupid. Stupidity, no. But it’s OK, get yourself in trouble. It’s my job to guide you how to get out.”

On fight night, Royce and his family will be giving all the advice they can to ensure Khonry wins in the cage. The youngster’s physical gifts are not in question. The ability to withstand adversity, however, remains a question mark.

“He’s stronger than I am, for sure, than I ever was,” Gracie said. “What hasn’t been tested yet is to see if he has blood in his eyes. When it’s time to go, he’ll bite (down) and dive in and go for it. That, time will tell.”

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Khonry Gracie on the thing he'll 'never forget' about training with 94-year-old grandpa Helio

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News, Videos

Trying to escape a 94-year-old man’s hellish grip on the mat is probably not what most people have in mind when they think about bonding with their elderly relatives.

But, then again, the Gracies are not most people.

Khonry Gracie, the 20-year-old son of UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie, is set for his pro-MMA debut at Bellator 192. His meeting with fellow pro debutant Devon Brock, which takes place on Jan. 20, comes after a single amateur MMA bout.

When it comes to MMA, that’s not an extensive resume. But not only does he get to have the guidance of a pioneer in Royce, he’s also been basically raised on the mats. That meant also having the type of high-level training experience that most people could only dream of.

Like, for instance, rolling with the late Helio Gracie.

“Last time I saw Vovo (‘grandpa,’ in Portuguese) Helio, we trained on the mat,” Gracie said during a recent media day in Los Angeles. “He put me in his guard, and he goes, ‘Pass my guard.’ I go, ‘OK.’ He’s 94 years old. I’m like, ‘It will be easy. No problem.’”

Spoiler alert: He was wrong.

“I go, I try to push his leg down, and it won’t budge,” Gracie said. “I’m looking at him like, ‘He’s strong. Damn.’ So I go and push the other leg. He won’t budge. I put my leg right on his waist, to try to pass the guard, and he pins my hand down.”

Helio, whom Khonry misses “every day,” died on Jan. 29, 2009, at 95. So, doing the math, Khonry was still in his early teens when he last trained with his grandfather. Still, he vividly remembers the impression that he was left with that day.

“I try to pull my hand out and his grip – that was the one memory I’ll never forget: His grip was so strong I could never, ever in my life pull my hand out from that,” Gracie said.

Helio didn’t get to see his grandson receive his recently earned brown belt. But as he prepares to make his pro debut, Gracie is invested in honoring his grandfather by carrying on with the goal of spreading jiu-jitsu as far and wide as they can.

“We’re here to carry on the family name and legacy,” Gracie said. “Make my grandfather proud, make my father proud.”

To hear from Gracie, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Khonry Gracie, son of Royce, gets opponent for pro MMA debut at Bellator 192

Khonry Gracie has an opponent for his professional MMA debut, and it’s a fellow debutant.

Gracie, the son of UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie, had already been booked for Bellator 192 and now has an opponent in Devon Brock for the Jan. 20 event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., set to air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Brazilian website Combate was first to report the news, which MMAFighting.com confirmed.

It’s be the first professional fight for both Gracie and Brock, though Brock is undefeated in five amateur bouts that have all taken place in 2017.

Gracie, meanwhile, has just one amateur bout on his record, which he won by unanimous decision in September.

With the addition, the latest Bellator 192 card now includes:

  • Champ Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald – for welterweight title
  • Quinton Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen – heavyweight grand prix opening round
  • Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi
  • Henry Corrales vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
  • Cooper Gibson vs. Jacob Rosales
  • Khonry Gracie vs. Devon Brock
  • Noah Tillis vs. Jalin Turner

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie