UFC 288: Kron Gracie wants major MMA rule change

Kron Gracie is making his long awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 288, and he's bringing some big new ideas with him.

By: Lucas Rezende | 1 month ago
UFC 288: Kron Gracie wants major MMA rule change
UFC 288 will likely feature fights that go beyond Round 1. IMAGO/NurPhoto

Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt Kron Gracie has always been one to share his unusual thoughts in interviews and he continues to do so after coming back from a four-year hiatus in a conversation MMA Fighting’s podcast Trocacao Franca. Once known for sharing beliefs such as the Earth being flat, the blackbelt shared his views on another topic, now regarding the mixed martial arts ruleset.

BEEF WARS: Henry Cejudo vs. Aljamain Sterling | UFC 288

Kron Gracie feels different ahead of UFC 288

Paired up against Charles Jourdain at this Saturday’s UFC 288 card, the Brazilian explained that once he decided to return to the sport, he did not want to wait around too long before stepping back into the Octagon. However, Gracie does acknowledge that the time off did affect him, especially after his loss to Cub Swanson.

“I didn’t want to wait too long, I wanted to take a fight soon and go back to fighting life,” Gracie said. “Regardless of time away and what I plan for in the next years of fighting, I had to take a fight soon to get the machine up and running again.”

Gracie said “every fight changes [you] a little bit, especially when you don’t have the result you want, so you evaluate and see what happened.” The lesson learned against Cub Swanson, a three-round decision in Tampa, Fla., was that fights aren’t to death — even if that’s what he has in his heart.”

Kron Gracie campaigns for one-round fights

Frustrating as the Swanson defeat was, it left Gracie with an idea in mind. Being a member of the family who started the UFC back in 1993, Kron cannot help but enamored with the idea of one-round, 25-minute fights. In the 34-year-old’s opinion, breaking up the action into three or five rounds leaves too much time in between for the action to cool down.

“What I really think MMA needs is, instead of [more] rounds, is 15- or 25-minute rounds,” Gracie said. “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.” Gracie said. “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.”

In fact, Kron even uses the argument that when the sport did such rounds, fighters were not at the level required to carry it through. Though he will not get his wish granted in time for UFC 288, Gracie believes that now there are high level athletes in all weight classes to make the sport benefit from the change.

“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.”

Catch Kron Gracie’s return at UFC 288

Kron Gracie (5-1) dropped a unanimous decision to Cub Swanson in his last outing, back in October 2019. Before that, the 34-year-old scored a first-round submission win over Alex Caceres in his Octagon debut, in February of the same year.

Now, Gracie is expected to take on Charles Jourdain at UFC 288, on May 6, in Newark, New Jersey. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and former title-holder Henry Cejudo.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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