As a mixed martial arts purist I am pleased to see that a member of the Gracie family is making a return to the UFC. Rolles Gracie Jr. is a second degree black belt in BJJ and will face Mostapha Al-turk in his UFC debut.
Al-turk has nowhere near the grappling skills Gracie has. Gracie is a 2nd degree black belt and hails from the most famous grappling family in the world. Al-turk was the ADCC European Champion in 2005 but it is highly unlikely he can tap out a Gracie. Once the fights goes to the ground it will be over quite quick. Gracie has been a part of the ADCC and has faced the best of the best in grappling. In the 2007 Absolute division Gracie lost to eventual winner Marcelo Garcia but won a silver medal in the heavyweight division against Fabricio Werdum.
Many believe Al-turk will be the dominate striker in this battle but ot of his 11 MMA wins Al-turk has six by KO and two by submission with punches. Does Al-turk have what it takes to KO Gracie? Yes. Will he? No. The reason being is that Gracie is a better grappling that Al-turk which will force him to keep his distance from Gracie for the duration. He is more of a dirty boxer and inside fighter but the awareness of Gracie’s grappling ability will keep Al-turk on the outside which is not his striking.
Gracie has worked on his game outside of grappling. He currently trains at Jackson’s Submission Fighting and Greg Jackson, who will formulate a good game plan for this fight. Al-turk does not come from a good camp and will not be as strategically prepared for this fight as Gracie.
In most cases a fight between a striker and grappler results in a win by the grappler. Though Al-turk can strike, he does not have the ability nor skill to overwhelm or hurt Gracie. Gracie is 6 foot 4 and 242 pounds and if he wants to take someone to the ground, he will.
The UFC betting lines have not been released as of yet but mostly likely Gracie will be the online betting favourite. His advantage is only due to his family name and the lines will be greater than they should be. Nevertheless, place your money on Rolles regardless of the odds.
Look for Gracie to Submit Al-turk with First Round Rear Naked Choke
For full breakdown and handicap analysis of this fight for to fighting-mma.com
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