Top brown belt competitor Rayron Gracie has just become the latest member of his family to be promoted to BJJ black belt, in a promotion ceremony led by his cousin Kyra Gracie. It should come as no surprise really, considering the fact that Rayron managed to win gold in the brown belt openweight division of the IBJJF World Championship 2023. It was a fantastic performance by the young competitor and he was able to do so in the presence of arguably the two most successful BJJ competitors in his family tree, Kyra and Roger Gracie.
There’s a lot of expectation that comes with being a member of the Gracie family, and that applies whether they decide to stick to competing in Jiu-Jitsu or decide to transition to MMA. The family has a long history of competing in both sports and it’s an almost-universal rite of passage for anyone carrying that surname to step onto the mats or into the cage at one point or another. Even though both BJJ and MMA has moved on from the early days of the Gracies dominating the competitive scene, they’re still ever-present and active in both sports.
While Rayron is the only Gracie family member currently competing in BJJ at a high level, both Kron Gracie and Neiman Gracie are competing in MMA, in the UFC and Bellator respectively. It’ll be interesting to see how Rayron Gracie fares now that he’ll be competing in the highest level of BJJ after being promoted to black belt, and he shouldn’t have too much trouble if his brown belt career is anything to go by. There’s always been a little bit more attention on Rayron than any of his family members too as he is the only son of Ryan Gracie, who sadly passed away in 2007 when Rayron was just a child.
Kyra Gracie announced the news that she had promoted her cousin Rayron Gracie to BJJ black belt in a recent post to her official Instagram account: