Kyra Gracie in Talks with Strikeforce, Waiting on ‘Valuable’ Deal

By Gleidson Venga and Colin Foster Jul 26, 2011
Kyra Gracie (right) is taking her time with her move to MMA. | Photo: Marcelo Alonso

Kyra Gracie, the only woman from MMA’s most famous family to earn a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, is planning her transition to the cage a bit more intensively each day.

The decorated BJJ champion’s manager, Ali Abdel Aziz, is publicly seeking an MMA deal for Gracie with Strikeforce and an unnamed, Singapore-based promotion. However, Gracie has yet to see the sort of figures that she considers “valuable” to her future.

“I’m looking for the deal I want,” Gracie, 26, explained Monday to “We’re not making a deal that makes things worse for me. I need to step away from jiu-jitsu, even if it’s for specific periods, and focus solely on MMA. I’ll need to stop teaching seminars, for example, so it really has to be worthwhile to me. Everything is in my manager’s hands. He’s talking to Strikeforce and a promotion in Singapore, but I can’t say that they’ll make a deal this year, or even at all.”

While Gracie’s debut date in MMA remains unclear, the Rio de Janeiro native is preparing to take part in the 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling Championship, which kicks off Sept. 24 in Nottingham, England. Gracie will fly to London on Aug. 28 to train with cousin Roger Gracie and fellow ADCC champ Braulio Estima, who will meet Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a grappling superfight.

Kyra doesn’t fear the transition to MMA, and believes her “royal blood” in martial arts will help her adjust to a brand new reality.

“I’ve been watching and participating in MMA training for a while with my uncles,” she said, “but I’m conscious that I need to get better on many things, specifically my boxing and wrestling. I also know that I have to develop my ‘MMA jiu-jitsu,’ which is something completely different from the gi.”

The most famous Gracie woman also expressed hopes that UFC President Dana White won’t shut down women’s MMA, should a potential UFC-Strikeforce merger take place, and urged more girls to join the sport and help change his mind.

“Women’s MMA is growing, and the proof is that ‘Cyborg’ [Cristiane Santos] versus Gina Carano was a Strikeforce main event,” Gracie asserted. “I really hope that Dana White doesn’t extinguish women’s MMA, and the girls need to show their potential, to train harder each day. He said the problem was creating weight divisions with enough women, but if we have more girls training, it won’t be an issue anymore.”
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