Royce Gracie undoubtedly has the most success in MMA of any member of the Gracie family, and he has recently given his opinions on how the current generation, Kron and Neiman, are faring in their careers. It’s worth noting of course that Royce had his success at a time when being a specialist of a single art was not only possible, but it was basically the entire state of the game. At the first four UFC events he went 11-0 and won three of those tournaments but out of the entire field of competitors, the most well-rounded opponent that he fought was Ken Shamrock who had a rudimentary understanding of striking but was still much more of a submission wrestler than anything else.
In the 21st century, it’s impossible to have any real success in MMA without having a solid grasp on striking, wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu. This was echoed in Royce’s own career as he returned to the UFC in 2006 to fight against then-Welterweight world champion Matt Hughes who utterly dominated him in a first round submission victory. It seems that Royce appreciates that a deeper knowledge of all forms of combat sports is necessary because he congratulated Kron on his ability to take a punch in his last fight, a unanimous decision loss to Cub Swanson:
“His bravery was at 100%, he showed that he can take a punch. When I took a punch from Shamrock, I was happy. Shamrock hit me full in the face. I loved it because I had never received a punch. He wanted to test himself. It wasn’t the best strategy, but he learned.”
This directly opposes some of his other family member’s thoughts as Relson Gracie previously criticized Kron for being willing to strike with Swanson instead of relying solely on his BJJ skills to win. Not only did Royce have kind words for Kron but he also seemed impressed by the recent performances of Neiman Gracie too, who knocked out Mark Lemminger in his last MMA fight under the Bellator banner:
“Neiman will get there, slowly, he will rise. It’s calm, don’t get flustered. You know what you have to do. He doesn’t train for just a period, he trains all year long. The boy is good.”
Interestingly, Royce made no mention of his own son Khonry Gracie who recently returned to MMA competition for Bellator as well. That might be something of a sore subject though seeing as Khonry came up short in his fourth professional MMA fight and was subsequently released by Bellator as a result, his career record currently standing at an unconvincing 2-2 against opponents with similar levels of experience.
The interview with Royce Gracie where he gave his thoughts on Kron and Neiman was conducted in Portuguese and uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Canal Do Marinho below: