by Matt Hill, MMAWeekly.com (Photo courtesy of IFL/April Pishna)
Fresh off of his recent IFL win against Pat Miletich, Renzo Gracie joined MMAWeekly’s SoundOff radio Thursday night to discuss a variety of topics. Renzo spoke about his recent fight with Pat Miletich, his feelings on his cousin Royce’s UFC 60 performance against Matt Hughes, his student Matt Serra, his feelings about the IFL organization, and whether or not he thinks his win over Miletich vindicates Royce’s loss to Hughes. Gracie chatted with the guys about all of this and more on Thursday’s edition of SoundOff radio.
Most fight fans know Renzo Gracie as a legendary coach, fighter and member of the world-renown Gracie-clan, but he has run into hard times in competition recently with a (2-6) record since 2000. Gracie seemed to have had too much on his plate the past six years, between starting a new gym, coaching his fighters, and trying to stay active in competition.
His win over Miletich seems to have renewed his vigor for the fight game, though. “It was a great weekend for me and my team,” said Gracie. “I trained very hard, and I knew that would be a surprise, because right off the bat I started hitting, like throwing my hands at him. I noticed that he was expecting me just to shoot.”
It seemed as if part of Renzo’s game plan was to sling a little leather at Miletich to throw him off of his game. Renzo said, “The more that I started throwing the hands he was a little uncomfortable, so it was very easy to get into a clinch position.”
It was apparent that Gracie had been studying Miletich’s tendencies, because as Miletich pushed Renzo toward the ropes, Gracie had his eye on Pat’s open neck.
“Once I got in the clinch I saw in some tapes that he has a habit of driving his opponents against the ropes, and I used that [to] my advantage to be able to grab him by the neck, you know, so I was able to jump and lock the guillotine,” said Gracie.
After readjusting his handgrip, Gracie sunk the guillotine choke tight, and eventually got the tapout from the former UFC welterweight champion, just 3:37 into Round 1.
Renzo seemed very pleased with his recent experiences with the IFL, and when asked if he would ever fight for them again he replied, “Yes, of course. I was never badly treated, I love the guys, and I love the idea. I told them I would fight for them for free. I admire so much what they are doing, and the way they are doing [it], and the effort they are putting in to make my sport grow. I want to grow old and see my grandson fighting in this, and I know I will,” said Gracie.
Gracie summed up his feelings about being a coach and a fighter when he said, “No one in this world has a job greater than mine.”