Strikeforce women’s 135 lb. champion Ronda Rousey burst on the MMA scene after her career as an Olympic judoka ended. To date she has finished every opponent – nine in a row, including her three amateur wins – via armbar in the first round. Perhaps understandably, the thought of taking on the seemingly unstoppable Rousey gives many opponents pause. However, iconic submission grappling specialist Kyra Gracie is not one of them, as she recently expressed her interest in challenging Rousey.
Gracie has been training for her MMA debut for some time, but she is hardly a beginner in the world of combat sports. Her list of victories on the Brazilian jiu jitsu circuit reads like a laundry list of top events, including multiple championships at the Pan Am games and the ADCC games. Since Rousey has used her own submission arsenal to overwhelm every opponent to date, a bout with a more accomplished grappler could be an intriguing stylistic matchup.
During a recent interview with Tatame, Gracie complimented Rousey’s skill, but added with a laugh,
“I have pretty good armbar defense.”
Although the jiu jitsu black belt is confident about the prospect of pitting her skills against Rousey’s, she also recognizes that she will likely have to earn the right to take on the champion, saying, “I gotta take one step at a time…I’m a white belt at this sport.”
In addition to her jiu jitsu training, Gracie studies boxing and other aspects of the overall mixed martial arts game in preparation for her transition into MMA. Her MMA debut has not yet been announced, but she is sure to attract a great deal of attention when it is.