Royce Gracie training with kickboxing champion for Ken Shamrock bout at Bellator 149

By Russell Ess - January 7, 2016

MMA legends Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock will meet for the third time in their professional careers at Bellator 149 on Feb. 19 in Houston, Texas.

Gracie who helped put jiu-jitsu in the spotlight in the early days of MMA has been training with veteran kickboxing champion Joe Schilling for his upcoming bout with Shamrock. Shilling spoke with MMA Junkie and says the legend’s new stand up game will be noticed.

“He’s dangerous on his feet; he has skills there,” Schilling of Gracie. “Obviously, he’s Royce Gracie and we’re not going to try to change his style of Gracie jiu-jitsu, but I think he’s learning a lot of things and has a lot of potential.

“We’ve done a lot of training, but for the most part, we’re just focusing a lot on him and his stand up. He has a great work ethic and he doesn’t have any – he comes in like a regular student and works hard and is focused and pays attention. It’s really nice.”

Gracie who won the first match against Shamrock by submission and battled back and forth to a draw in their second match hasn’t been known for his standup because of his strong jiu-jitsu base, but Schilling is looking to put together a complete package with Gracie.

“It’s more on balance and basic kickboxing that we’ve worked on; he’s dangerous and you just have to give him the task and explain to him,” Schilling said. “He wants to get better so it’s a lot of fun. It’s inspiring being around him and you can tell he’s excited for this fight.

It’s hard to believe that both fighters from UFC 1 are still fighting today, but Schilling said that the 49-year-old Gracie is a student of the game and continues to learn.

“It’s definitely harder to work with somebody who is older just to get them to listen and to respect your opinion, but Royce is not like that at all. He asks me a lot of questions and we help him as much as we can.”

Who do you think will win the match between the two fighters that helped mold the sport of MMA? Share your pick with us in the comments!