Over the last few years, Garry Tonon has emerged as one of the biggest names in submission grappling. While Tonon has won numerous matches and tournaments, he is best remembered for his epic ADCC 2013 battle with Kron Gracie, the son of MMA pioneer Rickson Gracie. On that afternoon in China, Tonon came within seconds of upsetting Kron, who was the firm favorite.
Since that day in China, both men have gone their separate ways. Kron chose to focus on MMA, whereas Tonon continued to compete heavily in Jiu-Jitsu. In recent months, Tonon announced his plans to compete in MMA and later opened up on the matter.
Speaking on the Just Roll Podcast, Tonon declared that he hasn't been impressed by Kron's fighting skills:
"I think there is a lot of room for improvement for sure. It was a quick fight and he fought somebody that probably didn't know what they were doing jiu-jitsu wise or grappling wise."
Garry went on to address rumors of a future fight with Kron Gracie at Rizin FF:
"No I haven't heard that. I definitely obviously would look forward to the day where I would be prepared to do that. Me personally, I never really like to do anything half assed, so if somebody said "would you fight Kron Gracie tomorrow?would I? Sure. But the smart decision is definitely not to do that. When I get my first fight I want to be prepared all around, and I'm just not right now. My hands need to get a lot better.
In the rest of the interview, Tonon went on to share some interesting tidbits including his plans to fight at featherweight or bantamweight and that he hopes to train primarily at the Renzo Gracie academy, with sporadic trips to Tristar being a distinct possibility.
While we may be months from Tonon's potential MMA debut, it will certainly be interesting to see just how well the leg lock specialist will transfer over. With a coaching lineage that includes three UFC fighters, he will be in good hands when he does decide to take the plunge.