Ryron Gracie during a trip to instruct jiu-jitsu to US Army soldiers in Iraq in 2008.
Today is the press event in San Diego for tomorrow’s Metamoris Pro, where all the athletes will be able to address the media about their submission only matches tomorrow. We are not so patient sometimes so we caught up with Ryron Gracie in his car while he was on his way from Los Angeles to San Diego.
The FightWorks Podcast: We asked our audience which Metamoris Pro match they are most excited about in a poll. Your match against Andre Galvao nearly tied the excitement levels for the Roger Gracie vs. Buchecha match up. Your match was the favorite of 36% of the voters, and their match was the favorite of 40% of the voters. Why do you think that is?
Ryron Gracie: I think it’s because I haven’t competed that much. So they’re curious to see how I’ll do. And we have so many students, thousands of Gracie University students, who may have voted, so that’s probably involved.
The FightWorks Podcast: How did you prepare for your match against Andre?
Ryron Gracie: Lots of rolling! I didn’t do too many new things aside from a lot of jiu-jitsu. I also trained with Kron a lot. So that should sure help.
The FightWorks Podcast: Is rolling with Kron an opportunity you get very often? Or was that something you guys made happen specifically in preparation for this event?
Ryron Gracie: The opportunity is always there because he lives right around me. We were training months before [the announcement of Metamoris] not as regularly, but once we had this event booked we started training three times a week.
The FightWorks Podcast: What do you think made the promoters choose this match up between you and Andre? Why you? Why Andre? Why you and Andre? There’s a bunch of people they could have put in there but they chose you two.
Ryron Gracie: Most of the people they choose to fight me would pretty much be the same in that they’re all going to be super explosive, position savvy and not wanting to be on their back, because they’re world class BJJ competitors. And there’s me, who doesn’t really have a problem in any position. I might be stuck somewhere, but I’m pretty much safe in most positions from what I’ve experienced in my training with people around the world. I always say, “keep it playful”: let somebody side mount you! Having someone mounted on you is not as bad as some people make it out to be. When you watch most people compete in tournaments the top level guys fight to prevent dominant positions like side mount as if it’s the end of the world. They fight to prevent it because points will be put against them. Now even when there’s no points, they’re going to fight to prevent it because of their lack of comfort in those positions. So as for the question “why me and why Galvao?”, it’s just cool to have someone who’s so decorated against me, who really hasn’t done anything but I have been rolling for 25 years, you know?
The FightWorks Podcast: What match are you most excited about as a spectator?
Ryron Gracie: Xande Ribeiro versus Dean Lister. I know them both and I know they’re both extremely powerful. They’re just two guys who are going to go head first and butt heads. Compare that to my match, where I’m not going to be going so hard and it’s going to be about making it very clear that he can’t tap me – or trying to make it clear that he can’t tap me! – and taking every opportunity I can get. When it comes to Dean and Xande, it’s going to be two guys going forward 100%. I mean, everybody likes to see two trains collide, it’s fun.