Saturday’s UFC 288 fight card in Newark featured the return of Kron Gracie. The son of the renowned Rickson Gracie ended his nearly four-year hiatus to take on Charles Jourdain in the opener of the PPV broadcast.
Unfortunately for the 34-year-old Gracie, his entire game was shut down through three rounds of action, resulting in his second straight decision loss.
Kron Gracie’s UFC 288 gameplan critiqued
Kron’s strategy for the Jourdain fight was highly reminiscent of the methods that his uncles utilized in the early years of the sport. It was heavily-reliant on getting into a clinch situation to engage the grappling, without the effective setups.
He also employed some of these techniques that many fans likely haven’t seen in a long while.
For UFC president Dana White, Gracie’s style seemed to have not evolved, which he says is a “rough” way to approach the fight game in this day and age.
“I like Kron a lot. He’s a good kid. He came in very limited tonight. Very limited. It was like coming out of a time capsule in 1995. Tough way to try to win a fight these days,” White told the media during his post-fight scrum.
“The kid’s got a ton of heart, he’s got a good chin. I like him. I don’t want to shit on his performance, but that was a rough gameplan.”
For opponent Charles Jourdain, Kron’s style is beatable with an effective approach.
“I think if you apply proper strategy, you can dismantle the way he fights. Vale Tudo style, pull guard… who does that pull guard? Nobody,” he told the media during his scrum.
“His guard was very dangerous, but the shark tank I’ve been through (in camp), the new generation of jiu-jitsu showed that his style is not outdated, it could work. But I was very prepared for it.”
Kron Gracie’s MMA career
When Kron decided to transition to MMA in 2014, fans had a ton of expectations. As a successful submission grappling competitor and ADCC champion, people were curious about how his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prowess would translate into modern MMA.
He did find a lot of success in his early years as a professional, winning his first four fights under Rizin via early submissions. Gracie also made a strong statement in his UFC debut in February 2019, when he submitted TUF alum Alex Caceres in the first round and won a Performance of the Night bonus for it.
Kron faced the biggest test of his career eight months later when he faced Cub Swanson. The WEC veteran rendered Gracie’s approach futile by using a lot of lateral movement, which resulted in a decision win. The two men did take home a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.
With his loss to Jourdain at UFC 288, Gracie dropped to a record of 5-2.
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