This Article originally appeared on BJJ.org. The entire archive of information is now available on OntheMat.com
Interview originally published on The New Full Contact
Appeared in a recent issue of the Brazilian O Lutador magazine.
Translated by Julio Hwu, edited by Terry Morley.O Lutador: It’s been more than 2 years since you last fought. This has started to generate some comments. Why have you waited so long to fight?
Rickson Gracie: Let them talk. In the ring I know what I can do. My toughest opponents are outside the ring, but soon I will be back.
OL: Are you going to fight?
RG: I am on the way to fighting in Japan in a big event.
OL: Against whom?
RG: I can’t say right now.
OL: What about a fight in Brazil?
RG: At the moment I’m commited to this business in Japan, but I would like to fight in Brazil.
OL: Would you like to fight anyone in particular?
RG: I would like to fight against the one who has proven himself to be the best.
OL: What do you think of comments made about the length of time since you have fought last?
RG: These are a result of people who have no knowledge of what they speak, pure speculation.
OL: Why do you take this position of never answering the challenges made against you? Do you consider yourself superior to the people who challenge you?
RG: The real challenges are not made in magazines. The true challenges are made from a standpoint of honour, or from man to man. Outside of this I will not answer. I respect my opponents the same way.
OL: Fighters like Marco Ruas, Mark Coleman,and Vitor Belfort say you ask for such a high price so that there is no chance for a fight. Doesn’t that kind of situation destroy your honour?
RG: My honour can only be destroyed if I didn’t fight because I didn’t have enough dignity, respect or courage, and this is not the case. The price I charge for a fight is standard for me.
OL: How much do you ask for to fight?
RG: Depends on the fight. For somethings I will fight for free.
OL: If there is nobody who will pay what you ask, would you fight to defend the name of Jiu-Jitsu or your family?
RG: Contrary to what many people think, I defend Jiu-Jitsu, and the name of the family, everyday and I have always done it for free. My business proposals have been accepted so far.
OL: Youdon’t think your stance affects your image?
RG: I don’t think so.
OL: So, is it confirmed that your trip to Japan is to close the deal for your next fight?
RG: No, this trip is to make a program for Japanese televion with “Sugar” Ray Leonard, who is a close friend.
OL: What kind of program?
RG: Nama Dara. It’s a very popular broadcast to 30 million people in Japan.
OL: When you will retire?
RG: I don’t know. God will decide. For me it will take a long time.
OL: What do you want to do next?
RG: For the next phase, I will be prepared when the time comes. Right now I’m more worried about my training, my family, my friends, students, next opponents, and my next meal.
OL: What do you think about the fighters who often challenge you like Ruas, Coleman, Belfort, and Hugo Duarte? For example, what kind of chances do you think they would have against you?
RG: I don’t think yes or no. This is for the promoters to decide.
OL: Is it true that in your first fight against Zulu, you wanted to give up but Helio said that if you gave up, you had to fight the whole family?
RG: What a load of bullshit!