Kron Gracie’s MMA Debut Is This December in Japan

Fightland Blog

By Fightland Staff

Photos by Michael Hresko

Kron Gracie once said that his first love ever was skateboarding. As a Californian, he skates in Venice Beach and trains in his academy in Culver City. And although he’s quite good at skateboarding, at this point in his life, Sunday is essentially his only skate-day. The youngest and only living son of Rickson Gracie—the world renowned and pioneering martial artist—Kron has dedicated his life to pursuing, exploring and finessing the gentle art which his father and uncles brought to Los Angeles in the late 80s. 

A very successful grappler, Kron’s latest title came in 2013, when he won his division at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Combat Club’s Submission Wrestling Championships. Two years before, he placed third in the same contest. In 2011, he received second place in the World Jiu Jitsu Championship. In 2009 he was European Champion. From 2005 through 2008, Kron received first place in 12 different tournaments. Like a true Gracie, he’s specialized in submission. 

We’ve known that Kron is pursuing an MMA career, particularly in Asia. He’s said before that it makes sense for him from a historical point of view. His father Rickson Gracie fought in Japan from 1994 until 2000, where he was undefeated and every single victory came by way of submission.

In May, Kron signed to the Japanese-managed MMA promotion based in China, Real Fight Championship. Until now, the promotion’s hosted three events in China, and is now expanding further east to the neighboring Japanese archipelago.

Rumor has it that his opponent is set and ready to go, although the card still advertises a “to be announced” official adversary. Whispers surrounding the bout mention the name Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima, who is a Japanese welterweight kickboxer fighting out of Nishinomiya, currently fighting in K-1. 

The rumor makes sense—they would want to pair a strong Brazilian jiu jitsu player with a striker, and a striker is exactly what Nagashima is. He’s got 18 wins as a professional kickboxer—12 of which came by knockout. In MMA, he has three wins—all by knockout. Nagashima, let it be known, knocked out Shinya Aoki with a flying knee once.

Well-known for his cosplay, in which he dresses like an Otaku girl, Yuichiro Nagashima’s colorful performances remind us of recent UFC signee Rin Nakai. Nagashima’s wild antics would certainly be in stark contrast with Kron’s more collected, Brazilian jiu jitsu-infused coolness. 

To prepare for the fight, Kron Gracie’s been training in the San Francisco Bay Area with the Cesar Gracie camp—alongside none other than Stockton’s bad-boy brothers, Nick and Nate Diaz. Pairing Kron with the Diaz Brothers at training camp is a no-brainer. Both incredibly successful in their own right—not to mention as exciting as middleweights come—Nick and Nate Diaz have built their powerful striking on top of their Gracie Jiu Jitsu, so they’ll all be speaking the same language on the training mats.

Supposedly, Gabi Garcia—nine-time Brazilian jiu jitsu world champion—will also make her MMA debut on the same card, against a yet to be determined opponent. 


Check out these related stories:

Kron Gracie on Jiu-Jitsu, Skateboarding, Older Brothers, and Famous Fathers

The House of Rickson: An Afternoon in Rio with Jiu-Jitsu's Royal Family