For a good few years, everyone saw Kron Gracie as the second coming of his legendary father Rickson. He did live up to the hype for a short while, with an undefeated record that included an impressive debut against veteran Alex Caceres in February 2019.
The 33-year-old Kron stumbled upon his first career roadblock eight months later when he faced another seasoned fighter in Cub Swanson. To put it simply, Gracie was pieced up on the feet and was unable to use his most lethal weapon throughout the three-round bout.
While he did win a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night, Kron ended up taking his first professional loss.
Kron hasn’t been signed to a fight since and many are probably wondering what’s next for him. But Rickson was a recent guest on MMAFighting.com’s Trocação Franca podcast, and he, too, is unsure of what the future holds for his son.
“Right now we’re giving each other some space, you know?” he said. “We had some small arguments and now he’s moved to Montana, he’s with his new gym there, he’s training. I don’t know exactly what his plans are for MMA, but I root for him.
“I know he has great potential, not only as a fighter but also as a great teacher, a great man. I’m rooting for him, and I’m also curious, like everybody else, to know what he’ll do next.”
Longtime fans of the sport are well aware of the Gracie game plan, which of course, revolves around Jiu-Jitsu. Rickson says Kron’s boxing-heavy approach that night was likely rooted in emotions, along with the desire to prove himself as a more well-rounded fighter.
“You don’t have to be emotional when you fight, and I think Kron was emotional,” Rickson said. “He wanted to prove himself and to his friends that he could take a punch, that he’s not afraid of getting punched, that he wasn’t worried about using only one skill and delicate technique to win fast without getting hurt, keeping his face clean. He said, ‘I can prove that I’m a man, that I’m in this environment and I can brawl.’
“He proved to himself that he has heart, that he’s brave and has cardio, that he can take the pressure, but I already knew that in my head. I know he’s an animal, he’s a warrior.
Rickson’s approach to fighting has always been about the path to least resistance. Using a bit of striking to close the distance, then utilizing the grappling and going for the kill. And he wants Kron to utilize this strategy more.
“What he showed me was a lack of ability to work strategically on someone else’s weakness. I never liked clashing heads — I always liked catching someone when they were distracted, to surprise them. I don’t like taking the toughest path, I like taking the door that’s open, the easier way to win.
“The quickest, the more efficient way, and causing less pain and trauma, the better. If I can beat the guy in 10 seconds in a way he doesn’t even feel pain, that to me is the best possible [outcome].”
“I see Kron trying to show himself as a man, as a warrior, and a bit away from the structure of what jiu-jitsu is meant to be, which is to make life easier.
I believe he should train boxing the way he trains and be experienced enough to know he can [box],” he added. But use that boxing to get inside the range and immediately make the transition from boxing to jiu-jitsu instead of trying to beat the guy with boxing, to trade hands with the guy to show he’s capable of working in any area.
“He’s proven that but it was a little short of the victory, and I think that’s not ideal.”
The 2013 ADCC champion is now 5-1 as a professional MMA fighter.