Kron Gracie has a last name that carries a lot of weight in the MMA world but the sport has changed dramatically in the modern era. It’s tough for anyone to live up to their family name when they are associated with such a high level of success, and there really isn’t any higher level of expectation one can have placed on them in MMA and BJJ. Kron Gracie is also the son of Rickson Gracie specifically so there was always going to be a lot of pressure on him to succeed in both Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. He says that pressure is something that he’s always lived with though:
“It was a lot pressure to have the Gracie name, growing up… I was always able to trick myself into not letting it affect me so much. I mean my dad was like the best fighter in the world so as a kid, that’s what you want to be like. You want to be like the best in the world. If I wasn’t trying to be the best in the word, I was, like, worthless. It’s always been my future. Why shouldn’t I be better than him?”
The Gracie family were originally synonymous with MMA and they dominated the sport in it’s early years when it was simply different martial arts styles competing against one another. A lot has changed since then of course, and now fighters are incredibly well-rounded with an elite level of skills in all areas of fighting. Kron Gracie competes in the featherweight division of the UFC and that’s an element of modern MMA world that he’s all too familiar with himself:
“Growing up, it was all about jiu-jitsu. Everybody did jiu-jitsu to fight. Jiu-jitsu to prove they can beat up a boxer or beat up a wrestler. You’re trying to prove yourself to prove your martial art. Now, it’s merged into a way where you can’t just be good at one martial art and be very successful against everybody who’s at the highest level. My dad doesn’t understand that. My grandfather wouldn’t understand that. This generation is already completely different. I think the martial arts is like your own moulding. Martial arts, for me, is jiu-jitu, boxing and Judo. When I say I’m a martial artist is because I built my own formula and I appreciate all the martial arts.”
He’s clearly not wrong either, as older members of his family have criticized him for straying too far away from Jiu-Jitsu in the past. It’s got to be an incredibly fine line to walk, because he has to juggle the expectation of the world around him to succeed and the expectation from his family to stay true to his roots. Although Rickson hasn’t been as stuck in the older mindset, even he believes that Kron should “immediately make the transition from boxing to jiu-jitsu instead of trying to beat the guy with boxing”.
Kron Gracie uploaded the video where he discusses the world of modern MMA in a recent post to his official YouTube channel: