Rener Gracie: People give Cyborg more credit than she deserves

This past weekend was big for women's MMA. With both Invicta FC and the UFC featuring the top two females in the sport, and…

By: Stephie Haynes | 8 years ago
Rener Gracie: People give Cyborg more credit than she deserves
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

This past weekend was big for women’s MMA. With both Invicta FC and the UFC featuring the top two females in the sport, and both sporting impressive wins in under a minute, it stands to reason that fan demand for a bout between UFC women’s bantamweight champ, Ronda Rousey and Invicta FC featherweight champ, Cris Cyborg is at an all-time high. Both women have cut a path of destruction through the contenders in their respective divisions, and are rapidly approaching a point when there won’t be a reasonable fight to make except the obvious one where they will face each other. Cyborg is likely already at this juncture in her career and outside Jessica Eye and possibly Bethe Correia, Rousey is fairly close to it, as well.

There is a contingency of folks that feel Cyborg is not all she is cracked up to be skill-wise, and Rener Gracie is among that group. MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti transcribes Gracie’s comments from a recent appearance on The MMA Hour:

I think people are giving Cris ‘Cyborg’ more credit than she deserves, in the sense of beating Ronda. No offense to her, she’s obviously an amazing athlete and has done amazingly well in MMA, and from what I hear, is a great person, as well. This is just me personally, I know what it feels like to roll with a very athletic, strong person.

People say rolling with Cris ‘Cyborg’ is like rolling with a man, you don’t have to go easy, you’re rolling very hard. And I’ve rolled with a lot of world class men, martial arts, jiu-jitsu, MMA, and I know what they feel like. Ronda doesn’t feel like them. She’s beyond. I don’t say rolling with Ronda is like rolling with a man. I’ve never said those words and I never will. Rolling with Ronda is like rolling with an alien.

I’ve rolled with very good fighters, all of whom have been compared to ‘Cyborg’ in terms of athleticism and her power, and I think all of that is great, but there comes a point where there’s something beyond strength and power and tenacity, right? And that’s the special gift that Ronda has, and has sharpened and honed over the last 15, 20 years.

There has been some high profile speculation that Rousey could beat men in the 135 and 125 pound divisions from the likes of Joe Rogan, Bruce Buffer and UFC president, Dana White. Gracie also contributed to the topic, stating,

Now, you know, what happens when you’re going against a man, they put a little more power behind their punches, the knockout power is stronger, and who knows, they can muscle out of submissions a little crazier. But I’ll tell you what, once she’s latched onto a limb, I don’t care who’s limb it is, they’re going to tap. That’s for sure. She finds ways to incorporate her entire body, the leverage of her whole body, against the joint that she’s attacking. So, I wouldn’t put it past her, but I don’t know if I’d go so far as to claim [she’d beat most male UFC bantamweights]. It’s just, I know what Ronda’s capable of and I know for sure that it’s not fair, it’s not competitive where she’s at right now. Because man, she’s just too good. I just don’t see any woman in the world beating her.

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Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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