EXCLUSIVE: MMA Thread Interview Neiman Gracie
Fresh off his victory at Bellator NYC, welterweight prospect, Neiman Gracie was gracious enough to answer some questions for us
First of all, congratulations on your victory at Bellator NYC. Did you expect the fight to go the way it did?
Thank you. Yes, he was a strong guy and I knew I had to take my time to be able to do what I needed.
Who would you like to fight next?
Anyone that Bellator offers me.
How would you compare the atmosphere at Madison Square Gardens to all the other arenas that you’ve competed in?
It was great! It was like I was at home. It was a beautiful night and all my friends, students, and family was there.
Did the magnitude of the event make you extra motivated?
Yes. It gave me a lot of motivation to fight in my hometown!
The name ‘Gracie’ carries a lot of weight in the world of MMA. Does that add any pressure to you or does it motivate you?
It motivates me to keep the legacy alive and to do the best job I can to represent my family.
What was it like growing up with such a famous last name?
It was awesome! Every family member could teach me a little something, so I was always learning and training.
Out of your six victories, five have come by way of submission. Do you intend to continue this trend or would you like to show off a bit more of your striking arsenal?
If I can keep that up, for me it’s perfect. I get more happy with a submission than with a knockout.
Before turning to MMA, you had a very successful grappling career. Do you feel like your grappling credentials made it easier to transition to Mixed Martial Arts?
It definitely helped with the competition atmosphere. It shaped me as a competitor and it helps a lot in my fights. In BJJ we fight 4 or 5 times in one day, so we get a lot of experience. In MMA four fights in a year is a lot, so that definitely helps.
Was the plan always to turn to MMA?
Yes. MMA is what I love and it’s what I always wanted to do.
How quickly do you see yourself climbing up the rankings in Bellator?
The more fights they give me, and the more I win will make me go quickly to the top. I hope to be a real contender by next year.
What is the best thing about being a Mixed Martial Artist?
I think it’s the lifestyle of training. I love it!
What’s the toughest thing about being a Mixed Martial Artist?
Getting locked in the cage and fighting another guy that wants to kill you.
What fighters inspired you growing up?
When you aren’t fighting, what do you enjoy doing? How does Neiman Gracie unwind?
I love surfing. I go after every fight.
How important is it to have that time to relax?
It’s good to clear the mind before getting back to hard training.
Any last words for the readers?
Thanks for all the support and thanks to everybody that like to see my fights!
You can follow Neiman on Twitter @NeimanGracie