The Gracie family has always been a prominent force in the jiu-jitsu world. Carlos and Helio Gracie were two of the founders of the popular martial arts platform. Over the years, this technique has been developed even further and is practiced by many fighters in the modern mixed martial arts world.
From Rickson, Helio, Carlos, and Cesar to Renzo, Royce, and Carlson, the Gracie family continues to stay on top.
An established Gracie member that you may not have heard of is the beautiful Kyra Gracie. Kyra, age 23, is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), and is the first female in the Gracie family to actively compete in the sport.
She trains at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York, along with the Gracie Barra Academy in Lake Forest, CA and Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Her resume is impressive. She is a five-time World BJJ Champion, with the most recent title being in 2008, a five-time Pan American BJJ Games Champion, two-time World Abu Dhabi Champion, and holds even more titles.
There is no denying that this girl has some serious talent, and I think it is time to build a platform where she can shine across the nation.
There are few women who would be able to hold their own with Kyra; in fact, only two women are really that well known: Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg.
Gina Carano, also known as “Crush” on American Gladiators, is known as the face of women’s MMA and really has helped bring the sport to the nation’s attention; however, it is time for a big organization to step up and take the reign’s on women’s MMA.
Dana White has acknowledged the talent and appeal the women bring to the game, and he has even been quoted as saying:“I think that Gina Carano is a real star. She’s beautiful, talented and she’s a real fighter.”
White also went on to say: “I just don’t think there are enough good women fighters that you can start a division around them.”
And that is the problem.
I would love for the UFC to take a risk and set up a tournament as a throw back to the original events. Bring in some of the most talented women from across the world, and see how the division takes off. It is at least worth a shot.
With the sex appeal of Carano and Gracie, and the skill and technique that they bring, it would be nothing short of entertaining, and I believe it is about time the division takes off.
The problem that we are having with women's MMA is the lack of discipline and respect for the sport.
I myself have said on numerous occasions that I won't be able to fully respect the accomplishments and talent until the women have enough respect for their own opponents and the sport to make weight.
Women's MMA has potential. StrikeForce has their women's division taking off and a rumored Carano/Cyborg fight may be in the near future, but I want more. Kyra Gracie is just as talented, and she deserves that chance.
Memo to the women: make weight, show respect, and your sport has all of the potential to propel into the spotlight, until then it will likely remain a spectacle. Let's make it a sport.