Ralek Gracie on Return: ‘I Never Wanted to Stop in The First Place’

The mixed martial arts (MMA) return of Ralek Gracie is a surprise to much of the MMA world. Gracie is 3-0, but he hasn’t competed since May 2010. He is being welcomed back by knockout artist Hisaki Kato at this Saturday night’s (Jan. 21) Bellator 170 event.

Gracie sat down with MMAJunkie.com to discuss why he decided to fight again. He said it’s something he always wanted to continue doing:

“It seems very obvious to me. I’m just doing what my family has been doing for generations. I’m not coming from anywhere, and I never wanted to stop in the first place. It’s obvious to me, but not necessarily the world.”

After a near seven year absence, fans and analysts had assumed Gracie simply had enough of competing outside of grappling. Gracie said there were a number of factors that led to his lengthy hiatus.

“[There were] many reasons. A couple of which: I got injured, I had a few kids. Just life stuff, didn’t get paid for fighting in Japan over there [in] my last fight.”

One of the ways Gracie is getting ready for this fight is deeply focusing on himself and the blueprint to give him the best opportunity to win.

“Being able to zone in yourself and your preparation, it’s one of the most spiritual things you can do is prepare for a fight. You’re preparing yourself for war.”

Bellator 170 will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The main event will be a light heavyweight showdown between former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title holder Tito Ortiz and former UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen.

The co-main event is said to bring nothing but fireworks. Welterweight bruisers Brennan Ward and the veteran Paul Daley will clash. The main card of Bellator 170 will air live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET.