From the time he could walk, you just knew that Kron Gracie was destined for greatness in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Being the son of a Jiu Jitsu legend carries a lot of expectations, but Kron has certainly met them and much more!
Gracie created a path all his own and is still building on it. In this guide, we take a closer look at the career of BJJ champion and MMA fighter Kron Gracie. From his early successes in BJJ, his journey to becoming an ADCC World Champ, to becoming an MMA Fighter.
Early Life & Tragedy
Kron Gracie was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but grew up most of his life in California. He is the son of BJJ legend Rickson Gracie. Being a Gracie, you are pretty much born into Jiu Jitsu.
Though there had been a ton of of pressure being the son of a legend, Kron was able to succumb through the noise and become a successfully practitioner of the gentle arts. When he was 10, he won his first BJJ medal at the American International Championship.
Aside from Jiu Jitsu, Kron lived a normal life of a California kid skating and surfing in his free time. But tragedy strike the Gracie family, when he was 12 as his older brother Rockson pass away.
Rockson was phenomenal at Jiu Jitsu and was seen as the one to take Rickson’s mantle as the sport’s best. With his passing even more eyes were on Kron. Many were eagerly watching his development.
Kron Steamrolls Through the Lower Belts
Gracie would meet everyone’s expectations during his time in the lower belts. From blue belt to brown belt, Kron would beat out his competition without fail.
In his time in the lower belts, he won the world championship at every belt rank. He’s also won the Pan Championships multiple times.
After winning the Mundial World Championship in 2008, his father Rickson would award him with his black belt.
Kron’s Early Competitions At Blackbelt
After receiving his black belt, expectations were at an all time high for Kron. The BJJ community expected immediate greatness from him.
His debut would be a rocky start as he was submitted by Sergio Moraes, who would actually go on to win the 2008 world championship. Though disappointed with the defeat in his debut, Gracie was able to bounce back and win the European Championship. An emotional win that would come just days after losing his beloved Grandfather, Helio Gracie.
The next two years would be a learning experience for Kron as he faced the world’s best. Fighting well, but coming up short in the 2009 Pans and ADCC championship.
Kron at ADCC 2013
Since becoming black belt in 2008, Kron had a learning experience and took some tough losses. He would almost get his first world championship in 2011, but come up just short in the finals.
With these losses, experiences, and lessons gained, Kron has grown into an outstanding grappler. He has then been successful in the pro circuit, beating out some of the world’s best grapplers.
Two years later, Kron was ready for the ADCC championships in Beijing, China. He would go on one of the most amazing runs in ADCC history!
In his first match, he dispatched TUF vet Andy Huang in 30 seconds putting him to sleep with a RNC. Then he would have what is considered by many as the best match in ADCC history against Garry Tonon.
It was a crazy back and forth battle, where Tonon somehow escaped a locked-in arm lock and took Kron’s back. With only a minute left Kron was able to escape, take Tonon’s back, and submit him with 2 seconds left! Buzzer Beater Sub!
He would then submit future ADCC champion JT Torres to meet Otavio Sousa in the finals. Sousa would play mind games with Kron, refusing to engage and push on his neck.
This upset Rickson and he was recorded making chicken noises at Sousa for refusing to engage. Kron would keep his cool and as soon as Sousa attempted a takedown. Gracie was able to capitalize on it, took a guillotine choke, submitting him to win the 2013 ADCC Championship.
Kron's MMA Career
After winning the ADCC Championship, Kron would retire from grappling. Dedicating his time to becoming an MMA fighter.
He made his debut in Tokyo, Japan in 2014 for the Real Fighting Championship. The same place his father fought numerous times in front of nearly 100k people.
Gracie would win his debut by arm bar and then sign with the Japanese promotion Rizin. During his time with Rizin, Kron would go 3-0 and defeat all of his opponents by submission.
Going 4-0 to start his career set Kron up to make his debut for the UFC in 2019. He would win his debut against Alex Caceres. However he did lose his second bout to a decision win against the more experienced Cub Swanson.
Kron Gracie had so many expectations and pressure on him than anyone can imagine. He overcame all of them to become a BJJ world champion and a successful MMA fighter.
At only 32 years old, Kron is still looking to add to his legacy. One thing is more sure and that he is more than just the son of Rickson Gracie. He created his own path and is a highly respected martial artist. And his story is far from over.