Roger Gracie: ‘The UFC has monopolized everything’
Multiple-time world BJJ champion, Strikeforce vet, and UFC vet Roger Gracie was on the verge of retirement recently when he received an offer from a yet-to-be-named MMA organization. When speaking with the Brazilian outlet Opovo about his future in fighting, he explained his reasons for leaving the UFC and the qualms he has with the organization.
“I’m with a deal almost closed and in the next few days I’ll announce my return to MMA. I should be back still in this year, we got everything settled and soon everybody will know where I’m going to fight. I was retired from MMA and I wasn’t sure if I was going to do just a few fights in Jiu-Jitsu. But I received this good offer and I reconsidered my retirement.
“I’m older now, I’ve achieved everything that I wanted. Everything else would be a plus. The UFC has monopolized everything but there are other organizations. The problem is that, once the UFC is the biggest organization, they control how much the fighters earn and they don’t pay that good. I have my gym and I don’t need the money from MMA to pay my bills.
“I left the UFC because they didn’t want to sign another contract with me after my deal was over. According to them, I was weak compared with other fighters. They didn’t want to pay me as much as Strikeforce. I wouldn’t accept an offer to earn less money and I didn’t want to fight without expectations. It’s better for me stay in my gym.
“I’ll fight at Light Heavyweight. Fighting as a Middleweight wasn’t right for me, it was a mistake that I made and now I regret. I wasn’t able to have a performance as good as my best would be.”
Translation by Fernando Arbex