The Japanese love the Gracie family because family names carry a lot of weight and mystique – especially in combat sports – and they all remember with great affection the days when Rickson Gracie was a jiu-jitsu god.
We love the Gracies in the United States, but we’re also big on the creedo “What have you done for me lately?” Thanks to Relak Gracie’s effort (or lack thereof) against Hisaki Kato at Bellator 170, the answer is “not much”.
Yes, we got to see a jiu-jitsu expert with a killer pedigree take on a Japanese striker. Unfortunately, Gracie waited three rounds to show off the skills his family is known for, and in the meantime, we were subjected to two fighters who were ridiculously unwilling to engage. In Round 1, that meant neither fighter committing until late, with Kato dropping Gracie with a punch; in Round 2, that meant referee Jason Herzog stopping the “action” and yelling at these guys for not fighting (a truly sad sight to see).
Gracie flicked whatever switch needed flicking in the third, and scored a takedown and took mount, but no finish was forthcoming, so when time ran out Kato had still done enough to warrant the decision.
Results: Hisaki Kato def. Ralek Gracie via Unanimous Decision