Kron Gracie is an incredibly talented grappler and a UFC veteran, but he believes that longer rounds could make for better MMA fights. Kron managed to put together a 4-0 professional record with 4 submissions before being signed to the UFC and he continued that run of perfect results in his first fight for the promotion. He lost his second fight to Cub Swanson and promptly disappeared from the sport altogether, returning after almost four years away to fight against Charles Jourdain at UFC 288.
Kron Gracie explained his ideas for making MMA better in a recent interview with Trocação Franca:
“What I really think MMA needs is, instead of [more] rounds, is 15- or 25-minute rounds. I think that’s something that would change the result and bring more finishes on the feet and on the ground because when you have rounds, you have a break and time to think, your coach brings you water, and that changes the fight. It’s no longer a fight between you and the guy.”
“I know it’s hard to have a fight with no time limit, but I think there should be no rounds. It should be a 15-minute fight, or a 25-minute fight. I think that would change the sport for the better. You would have more chances to fight and win with these rules.”
What Kron Gracie is proposing isn’t an entirely new idea either, as there have been several examples throughout the history of MMA fights being contested over longer rounds or even without time limits. In fact, his family member Royce Gracie engaged in two different fights during his career that did something similar. He had a 36-minute match with Ken Shamrock that was eventually ruled a draw and a match of endless 15-minute rounds with Kazushi Sakuraba that he lost after being unable to compete in the fifth round.
“The sport definitely wasn’t ready for that in the beginning. I think even fighters didn’t have enough level for such thing. But I think the sport is way smarter now. Fans are way smarter. Fans appreciate grappling more. There are fights, like Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero both fights were very competitive. If it was a 25-minute one-round fight, I think there could be more opportunities for them. When fans’ intelligence grows, I think you can adjust the rules.”
While this is definitely an interesting idea, it’s unlikely that a major organization like the UFC would ever deviate too far from their accepted ruleset. The only real chance this has of becoming a reality is in promotions open to experimentation like ONE Championship, or in regional shows that are in need of an attraction. Kron Gracie discussed a number of topics other than just the idea of longer rounds in his interview with Trocação Franca, including how it felt for him to return to MMA after an incredibly long time away from professional competition.