Another member of martial arts’ most famous family will soon join his brother as a ONE Championship athlete.
Fifth-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ralph Gracie was announced as the latest addition to the world’s largest martial arts organization’s roster at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on 23 August.
The 47-year-old is one of the most respected mixed martial arts athletes in his family, thanks to his performances in Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the United States of America.
Though he has not competed in the ring or cage since may 2004, the native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said he was inspired to make his comeback after seeing his brother, Renzo, compete at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS in July.
Ralph was in Renzo’s corner in Manila, Philippines, and felt determined to experience the thrill of competition again after seeing his victory against Yuki Kondo.
“Definitely, seeing my brother fight was a motivator for me to be here and come back to the cage – to feel the atmosphere and the vibrations.
“For me, it will be an honor to be in this company.”
As far as an opponent is concerned, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed Gracie had requested a contest against an old rival, and it is a match-up he would like to make.
“I was with Ralph last night and I asked him who he wanted to fight, and he said Takanori Gomi, so I’ve got to make that happen,” he said.