September 16, 2006

by Ken Pishna, MMAWeekly.com
When you talk to Cesar Gracie, you can’t help but glean all kinds of information. Cesar stopped by for a visit on MMAWeekly.com’s SoundOff radio and let us in on what the fighters in his camp are up to… a veritable who’s who of mixed martial arts.

“Tyson Griffin is fighting in the upcoming UFC on the 23rd,” said Cesar. Griffin is coming off of a big win over Duane “Bang” Ludwig on the last StrikeForce show.

“[Jake Shields] is going to be doing The World Fighter thing, so you won’t see him in the UFC any time soon. They did make him an offer,” said Cesar. “As you know, Nick Diaz signed to fight Josh Neer on five days notice. They offered that fight initially to Jake Shields. He was a little heavy to cut the weight, he was like 192, and he didn’t want to cut that kind of weight that quick.”

“Speaking of Jake Shields, I want to say that Jake Shields is one of the top five guys in the world right now. There’s nobody in the world he couldn’t give a great fight. I don’t care if it’s Matt Hughes or BJ Penn or whoever,” he remarked.

One of the names out of the Gracie camp that has been popping up a lot lately is Nathan Diaz, the younger brother of UFC veteran Nick. Nathan is scheduled to fight Hermes Franca at the next WEC show in a title bout.

According to Cesar, “Nathan at 155 [pounds] is a complete monster. He’s got the hands, the boxing; he’s got the jiujitsu. The one part of his game that was lacking was takedowns, but with him training with a guy like Gilbert Melendez… Nathan has picked up a lot from that. If you’ve seen his last couple of fights, he’s been absolutely destroying his competition.”

Gilbert Melendez put on one of the most impressive displays in recent memory at the last Pride Bushido event. It sounds as if we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the Pride ring.

“Yes, he’s signed a contract with Pride,” commented Cesar. “He’s a very exciting fighter, he’s got a lot of heart. He’s probably one of the most exciting guys on the team. Yeah, you’re going to be seeing him in Pride.”

It’s been quite a while since David Terrell last fought. He defeated current Ultimate Fighter contestant Scott Smith at UFC 59 in April of this year. After some time away due to illness, Terrell sounds to be back on track.

“He’s doing very well,” said Cesar. “He runs a school in Santa Rosa called the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance. David is one of those guys that when he puts everything together and he’s healthy and everything, he’s one of the best in the world. Unfortunately he’s always had sinus and ear infections and actually I think he over trains sometimes. He’s going to put a lot together this coming year. Hopefully, we’re going to see the champion Dave that I know is there.”

The fighters from the Gracie fight team have steadily been making an impact on the mixed martial arts scene across the world. It doesn’t appear as if they’re ready to slow down anytime soon.