Gracie is facing a relatively new fighter in Adam Kayoom, but that doesn’t mean he’s not taking this fight as serious as any other.
Check out this exclusive interview with Gregor Gracie ahead of his Saturday fight at One FC:
MMAWeekly: Adam Kayoom is not a name which is well known outside of Asia and he has only had three MMA fights. What did you think when ONE FC first offered you this fight?
Gregor Gracie: I didn’t know much about Adam Kayoom but then I startetd studying him and although he has not had much experience in MMA he is a very tough fighter. He has many Muay Thai fights and he is a black belt in BJJ so even though he has very little experience you cannot count him out he’s a very tough guy and he has experience in other areas which are different from MMA but he is a very experienced guy overall.
Your opponent is Malaysian and is going to have the crowd behind him, is that something you have prepared for and how do you think it will affect you?
I have had it both ways, I fought in Brazil against a foreigner but I also fought in the US against an American on my debut and there were like 8,000 people in the arena and everybody was cheering for the American. It’s ok, you learn from an experience like that and it will help him in the future.
Kayoom is coming off a win against the same opponent that you last fought, Seok Mo Kim, did you see that fight and if so what did you think?
I saw his fight against Seok Mo Kim a few times, he fought really well and put the right game plan in and was able to win. It was a good fight for him. He is very well rounded in many different martial arts, any fighter who is capable of switching to so many different styles is dangerous. He’s going to be tough but I trained very hard and I will be ready.
Where have you been training for this fight?
I have been training mostly in New York with Renzo and Ricardo Almeida and the guys. I spent the last four days in Singapore to get used to the time difference. It’s great to have a base here, especially having such a high level gym and I have spent four days training with legends of Muay Thai, I was training with them every day and I learned a lot, it’s an exceptional gym you know.
This is your first fight since ONE FC ‘Champion vs Champion’ in September, are you hoping to fight more regularly after this?
I want to fight this fights and then two more fights this year, I was supposed to fight on ONE FC in Singapore but my opponent he got hurt and pulled out of the fight and they couldn’t find another opponent so that’s why I’m fighting now and I hope to fight two more fights this year.
The ONE FC show in Singapore was the first not to feature a Gracie, how have you enjoyed the ONE FC experience and when can we expect to see Igor and Rolles fighting?
It’s awesome, you get to see the world and a lot of fights. It’s a great opportunity which One FC gives us to see the whole of Asia and if it wasn’t for them I would never come to this area and to see these places. One FC has been very successful so far and has sold a lot of tickets for every show and it is awesome to be able to fight in front of such a big crowd.
Are you keeping an eye on the other fighters in the 170 lbs division like Phil Baroni and Roger Huerta and would you like to fight for the title when ONE FC introduce it?
It would be a pleasure to be a ONE FC champion in the future but they are taking their time and they know what’s best for them. If one day they need me to fight for the belt I will be ready. Right now I am just worried about my next opponent, I am not looking past him after if they give me somebody else I will start to worry about then.
Being a member of the Gracie family and a black belt in BJJ is your ambition always to finish a fight by submission?
I always want to finish my fights but sometimes it is hard, I had a hard time finishing Seok Mi Kim so unfortunately a submission can’t happen every time. That fight was great for me and great for my career because it was the first time I went to a decision and I really learned a lot.
MMA fans from around the world can witness the action of ONE Fighting Championship™: Destiny of Warriors online via live streaming on www.onefc.com. The first four under card fights are available for viewing free of charge. The remaining six main card fights are now available for purchase on Pay-Per-View at just US$9.99. Catch real time excitement of Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) event as it all goes down on 23 June 2012 at the historic Stadium Negara in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.