Rolles Gracie Always Knew One Day He’d Fight Bob Sapp

February 8, 2012
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Rolles Gracie at UFC 109
It’s hard to believe but it’s been almost 10 years since Bob Sapp faced Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at Pride Shockwave in 2002.

It’s a fight that Rolles Gracie remembers fondly.

Even back then before he even remotely considered doing MMA, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace was a fan of the giant Sapp, and the way he could just brutalize opponents with his power and raw strength.

Maybe it was that particular fight that stuck in Gracie’s head, because ever since then he’s always had an idea that he would one day face Sapp in the ring.

That dream is about to become reality at One FC this weekend in Jakarta.

“When Bob Sapp first came up, I was like I always had a feeling I was going to fight that guy,” Gracie told “I don’t know why. I had never fought MMA back then, I was still a ways from fighting, but I had a feeling that one day I was going to fight that guy and that day came.”

Looking at the fight between Sapp and Nogueira, it was hard for Gracie not to be impressed by the American’s sheer size and power. The fight only made it into the second round, but it remains one of the most memorable fights in Pride history.

“That was an epic battle,” said Gracie. “Back then he was by far the biggest guy out there. Brazilians never had to deal with those big guys, then we come to America we start to see these big guys. He had to learn how to fight well, because back then he was only using his brute strength.”

Since that time however, Sapp’s career has been filled with a lot of ups and downs, and most recently not so many good memories.

The former Pride star has lost his last 3 fights in a row and 6 out of his last 7. Still, Gracie refuses to believe that a man of Sapp’s stature and power can’t find a way to inflict some serious damage if he takes him for granted.

“You cannot take a guy that big lightly. He has 260lbs behind a jab,” Gracie pointed out. “He’s dangerous, you can never take a guy like that lightly. If you slack, you get caught and it might be a done deal. I’m training very serious, I’m taking him very serious. I don’t want him to get back on track with this fight.”

As for Gracie’s career, since his exit from the UFC after his lone fight in the organization, the Renzo Gracie trained fighter has gotten back on track with two wins in a row, and he’ll look to make it three this weekend at One FC.

“I think Bob Sapp is the biggest name I’ve fought so far, so this fight has a lot of people talking about it in Brazil so far,” said Gracie. “It’s a big fight, exactly what I was looking for. A big fight and fight someone with a name.”

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  • RubeKegal

    I don’t even think Sapp should be sanctioned to fight anywhere anymore. What is he 2-7 in his last 9?

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  • fsunoles09

    still giving this man fights on sheer size

  • Anthony

    this is sad, imagine if Sapp took this more seriously–hooked up with a quality team like Jackson, or AKA. This guy could have been scary. Instead hes become an MMA whore. He basically lays down to help journey men rise up through the ranks. Nobody takes him seriously . Granted the Super HWY division never really took off–Its become nothing more then a hiding place for lazy,out of shape Hwy’s . Its a shame, theres nothing worse than waisted potential.

    • Lesnardo

      How s Bob Sapp out of shape?

      I doubt he would have improved even though he had trained at AKA.

      The guy is just a big baby.

      But in real life I am sure he could kill anyone on this board. It’s just that in the world of professional MMA, he is a big baby.

  • Anthony

    Never said Sapp was out of shape-What I said was most supers are.Why would you think he wouldnt have improved with a stronger camp? I guess in your world fighters are born , not made? Thats the stupidist thing ive heard come out of your mouth yet, and thats saying allot. Stick to grading and evaluating grammar Lesnardo. Thats where your expertise lies. It sure as hell isnt in MMA. As far as your comment that Sapp could “kill anyone on this board”-another great insight– the guys a trained 360lb fighter. Most people on this sight are no where near his size let alone pro fighters. Thats not our jobs. Thats how big Bob chooses to make his living. That said if your going to do something do it 100% or find another profession–like you and your spelling/ grammar corrections. Stick to what you know my friend.

    • Ememay

      Wow, Anthony is sensitive. Bob Sapp is an MMA whore and if you disagree you’re just stupid. That’s the law.

      Not that I care, but I think what Lesnardo was saying was “Do you really see a lot of untapped potential in Bob Sapp?”.

      • Lesnardo


        This isn’t a role-playing game where Bob Sapp the Beast could continuously level up.

        Anthony just sounds slow.

        Yeah, better camp should improve and would improve Sapp. But by how much?

        Anthony, in his original comment, said Bob Sapp has potential.