Bellator MMA has announced that they have signed jiu-jitsu ace Ralek Gracie to a multi-fight, multi-year deal.
The announcement was made on Wednesday night via press release.
Gracie (3-0) made his MMA debut in 2007 at the age of 22 and defeated Katsuyori Shibata by armbar. One year later at DREAM 4, he picked up yet another armbar victory, this time over Alavutdin Gadzhiyev. Following the win, Gracie took two years off and fought the legendary Kazushi Sakuraba at DREAM 14, defeating him via unanimous decision. Now, six years later, Gracie will return to MMA under the Bellator MMA banner.
No debut date has been announced, but Ralek hopes to fight at ‘Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen’ in January of 2017.
“I was bred for hand-to-hand combat over generations and I simply can’t ignore that during my physical prime. My destiny is calling me and my opponent is irrelevant, it’s go time,” Gracie said. “It’s crazy to see where fighting has come since my childhood of seeing everything unfold from behind the scenes. Bellator is really stepping up the opportunities fighters have to compete more often and in different countries and I’m excited to join that movement and test my style in this modern MMA era.”