Renzo Gracie is not a man to mince his words, so his reaction to Rolles Gracie’s loss at UFC 108 is unsurprising. Renzo, legendary even among the fighting family who share his surname, told the website GracieFighter that he was embarrassed about Rolles’ performance.
“It was embarrassing. I can tell you he wasn't in that bad of shape. Fact is the nerves drained him of his energy. His stand up and ground work looked bad, nothing at all like he was doing in training leading up to the fight and as it was if he couldn't hear what I was telling him,” Renzo commented.
But he added a note of optimism. “I think the pressure he put on himself overwhelmed him. He'll learn and be back."
It is worth noting that Rolles’ fight with Joey Beltran at UFC 108 was only the fourth of his professional career. His last two fights were in Chinese promotion Art of War and both were submission wins. Art of War uses a vale tudo rule set and has a ten-minute first round, but the level of competition is not comparable to the elite heavyweights that make up the UFC roster.
Rolles may find himself making an exit from the UFC after another loss, but that does not mean he cannot join the ranks of the elite further down the line. With just four fights under his belt, he is very inexperienced to be operating in what is currently one of the ‘shark tank’ weight divisions.