Kron Gracie only has five MMA fights under his belt, but the all-star grappler clearly isn’t interested in wasting any time as he looks to rise the featherweight ranks.
Gracie made his Octagon debut last night at UFC Phoenix, and he proceeded to take Alex Caceres out with an opening round, rear-naked-choke. Leading up to the card, Gracie credited Caceres for being a dangerous opponent, but he also relayed he had been hoping to face a higher ranked fighter in his UFC debut.
Well, following his impressive win on Sunday, Gracie had this to say about the win and his plans for the short term future (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“It felt pretty good,” Gracie said. “I’ve kind of missed it a little bit since my last fight. It’s a little bit of a different feeling when you step on stage and everybody’s watching and the lights are a little different and everything. It’s a little different of a feeling, but actually, when I got there, I felt really good and really at home and like I missed it. The adrenaline feels good, and everything feels good, so thank God everything went well.”
“…Only up, right?” Gracie asked. “I don’t see myself going back down.
“I’m here to make some noise. I’m here to make some problems for everybody.”
It will be interesting to see what comes next for Gracie. Considering he has fought only five times, it would be somewhat surprising if the UFC booked him against a top 10 ranked featherweight. Especially when you consider how deep the 145 division is. Case in point, Zabit Magomedsharipov is currently ranked #13 and Chan Sung Jung is #12. Yair Rodriguez is #11 and Ricardo Lamas is #10.
During ESPN’s post-fight show, Dominick Cruz floated the idea of Gracie fighting Darren Elkins, who is currently sitting in the #14 spot. That’s an interesting idea, as Elkins is an experienced wrestler and is ridiculously tough. So, as Cruz noted, Elkins could provide an intriguing test for Gracie.
Due to the fact Gracie’s the son of the legendary Rickson Gracie, and because of his jiu-jitsu credentials and his 5-0 run in MMA, Kron will understandably get opportunities other fighters with similar records wouldn’t receive. Case in point, Gracie’s bout with Caceres last night was on the main card.