Kyra Gracie Turning Her Focus to MMA, Hopes to Debut in May 2012

August 2, 2011
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Kyra Gracie, one of the most decorated grapplers in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, will compete in the Abu Dhabi tournament this September and then turn her full attention to becoming a mixed martial artist.

A second degree black belt, Gracie has long flirted with the idea of moving into the world of MMA, but her focus will fully shift there with a goal of debuting in the sport around the midway point of 2012.

“Kyra made the decision, she’s finally going to step away from jiu-jitsu a little bit, she’s going to focus on MMA,” Ali Abdel-Aziz, Gracie’s manager told

“Kyra is very well known in Brazil, she’s been on television everywhere, and the focus has been on her as a jiu-jitsu fighter. She’s done a lot of stuff all over the world, and she’s ready. It’s something she really wants to do, it’s something she wants to do for her family is fight.”

According to her manager, Gracie keeps busy the majority of the time working with orphans in Brazil, helping to feed, clothe, and care for them, and that’s why she’s taken longer strides to get to MMA than some goals she’s set in the past.

Now with her commitments in the grappling world starting to lessen, Gracie will join several of her family members in MMA.

Kyra plans to split her training time between her home in Brazil and her home in the United States where she will work with the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City.

The current plan is for Gracie to fight at 125 pounds, but if opportunities there don’t exist, she’s happy to move up and compete in the 135-pound division as well. While no deals have been made for Gracie’s debut or future in the fight world, her manager is hard at work to ensure she has a good home when she makes the full-time move to fighting.

“We have not confirmed anything with any organization,” Abdel-Aziz stated. “We’ve talked to the guys at Strikeforce, we’ve talked to Sam Caplan over text message about Kyra at Bellator, talked to Sean Shelby a little bit. We haven’t sat down to talk to anybody, we just talked about the interest of her fighting.”

As previously stated, Gracie, a two-time Abu Dhabi champion, will compete in the grappling competition one more time this year before turning her attention solely to getting ready for MMA.

“She’s been boxing, doing judo and wrestling, she’s been training for a while. Now she just, she’s competing in Abu Dhabi in September and after Abu Dhabi she’s going to focus on MMA,” said Abdel-Aziz.

“Any organization that signs Kyra, she will be the face of the company for the women. We know she has the tools to compete in MMA, she’s going to get the best training, and she’s like a machine already.”

Look for Gracie to debut in May 2012 after taking several months to train and prepare for what the MMA world has to offer.

Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for
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  • jared499

    That is good news for Women’s MMA. Having watched some of her videos on youtube, she is very skilled with her BJJ (hello Gracie), it will be interesting to see how she can incoporate striking into her game. Apparently the way this article makes it sound, is she has been training in outer disciplines for awhile, so maybe she comes in at better then a novice. If not I do think that her BJJ skills will help carry that a 125lb division, if there are any other fighters at that weight class, hello MMAWeekly can you please help out the ladies and start listing them in weight classes so we can start to build interest in them.

  • Unador

    I’m excited to hear about a new addition to the femal ranks of mma. I’m hoping that female mma gets as big as male mma and doesn’t get drowned out, or kicked to the curb for bigger profits.
    I’d like to not only see more, but like jared499 said, How about some ranks and weight classes so we can start building interest in them as we come to know and recognize them.
    And so we can all have a reference point in performance to check against as we all wage war with our opinions of whose better.

    • wonggfan

      If women’s boxing didn’t make any impact, what makes you think women’s MMA will?

      90% of MMA fans are in it (or at least originally was attracted) for the violence. Women and violence do not go together.

      • jared499

        @ wonggfan

        Agreed most of us got into this sport because of the violence, but it has progressed into something more then that. Now, for me at least, it is about skill.

        As far as the comparison to Women’s boxing. It is the exact same thing. The media outlets did not cover the fights as much as they should have and therefor did not give the avid fans an opportunity to know the fighters, unless your last name was Ali. If the MMA world wants to be different, and they could, then the media needs to do its part and help promote some of these fighters besides, Gina and Cyborg. You know seems pretty popular in other countries, Brazil and Japan.

        Will it be as successful as it could be, probably not. But we will never knkow if it is not given a proper chance.