For the past several years, it’s been hard for Igor Gracie to fight, much less have time to train to fight.
While his own training never stopped, Gracie spent much of the last few years working on opening his own school and being an instructor to his students, but it came at a sacrifice.
The sacrifice was that his own MMA career had to be put on hold while he developed these other projects, but the cost was watching the prime part of his athletic career start to pass him by.
So starting in 2011, Gracie took a step back from everything and became a little bit selfish for the first time in his life.
“For the last year, I’ve been focusing mainly on my MMA training, focusing on me. I think it’s been paying off,” Gracie told MMAWeekly.com recently.
Gracie came storming back in 2011 with his focus on MMA and picked up two quick wins before a slight back injury kept him from closing out the year with another fight.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is storming the gates in 2012 just as hard though and returns in his native Brazil on Saturday where he faces Manuelo Morales.
Gracie believes that with the team around him, the people pushing him to succeed, and his own undying work ethic, there’s nothing that will stop him in the coming year.
“With the team and the trainers that I have behind me and the training and support I’ve been getting, there’s no wrong way,” Gracie said.
“I’m looking forward to a very busy 2012. I look for 3 or 4 fights. I should fight again in June or July, and then I want to keep the same pace for the second half of the year, maybe another 1 or 2 fights.”
The end goal for Gracie like so many fighters is to land in the UFC, but for now his objective is only to travel to Brazil, get a win over Morales, and then move onto the next one.