Trevor Prangley | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Trevor Prangley wants to see what happens when Roger Gracie gets hit.
Prangley knows his opponent Saturday at Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg” is one of the greatest jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world. He also knows Gracie has limited experience with striking.
“Let’s be honest: I’m not going to try to grapple the guy,” Prangley said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I’m a pretty proficient grappler, but I’m nowhere near his class. That’s just not my way of fighting. I’m going to try to put a little bit of fear into him. I’ve watched all his fights; he’s never really been put under a lot of pressure or hit real hard. I’m going to try to test him and see how he handles that. He might handle it just fine, but I’m sure we’re going to find out on the 29th.”
Gracie has won numerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championships as well as submission wrestling titles. He doesn’t just outpoint the opposition either. In the 2005 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, Gracie submitted all eight of his opponents.
“When he gets a good position, with his legs and stuff, he cinches it up and it’s pretty much just a matter of time,” Prangley said. “If there’s not 20 seconds left in the round, you’re probably done.”
Gracie has also submitted all three of his MMA opponents. However, Prangley has fought literally 10 times as many fights en route to compiling a respectable 23-6-1 record. He doesn’t have Gracie’s pedigree, but he does own the experience edge inside the cage.
“He’s probably not used to taking any kind of damage there,” Prangley said. “I’m hoping that can throw him off his game a little bit.”
Although Prangley has a basic strategy, he said he’s keeping it flexible according to how Gracie reacts in the cage.
“Obviously I don’t want to get in a wrestling match with the guy,” he explained. “I don’t want to get in any scrambles and stuff like that. If I’m going to look for a takedown, I want it to be clean and easy. If he’s going to look for a takedown, I want to make sure that my wrestling defense is on point.”
Prangley has been training his wrestling and other skills at American Kickboxing Academy. Due to the relatively late notice he was given for the bout, though, he’s only been at AKA since after Christmas. The limited prep time is nothing new for Prangley, who’s known for stepping up and accepting challenges.
“I think that’s what my role has become,” Prangley said. “I’m like the fill-in guy. ‘If we can’t get this guy, we’ll call him.’ But like I said, if that’s the role I have to assume for now, that’s the way it is. As long as I keep winning these fights, that role will change. It has to eventually.”
A win over Gracie could go a long way in improving Prangley’s standing with Strikeforce. He liked the matchup as soon as he heard about it.
“It’s a good fight for me,” he said. “I think it’s a little bit risky, but [it’s] just like the [Keith] Jardine fight, which was a little more risk and a little more reward. For me the name means nothing. I appreciate what [the Gracies] have done for the sport, but the name doesn’t make the fighter. But for me to beat a Gracie, it always looks good on your record and it always looks good for your next fight. I think the reward on this one might just outweigh the risk.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:10:40) with Prangley.