It’s been all about the jiu-jitsu super fights this weekend–shoutout to Lovato Jr., the Martinez Brothers, Ryan, Sousa, and Palhares–but don’t worry, there’s plenty of big grappling names to look forward to next week in case you worked through this one. Kron Gracie returns to the MMA ring to face Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night Tampa, while McKenzie Dern shares the card against Amanda Ribas, both fighting October 12.
It won’t be the first time black belts Gracie and Swanson have met on the mats. The pair famously grappled all the way back in 2003 at the US Open, with Gracie beating Swanson 3-2…a loss Cub took so hard that he left jiu-jitsu for MMA, launching the UFC career he’s now widely known for.
“I feel very strong that they cheated,” says Swanson about the tournament’s judging, which he felt was biased in Gracie’s favor on family legacy alone. Swason reportedly feels the pair will be on equal ground at the UFC.
Gracie is coming off a 6-fight winning streak, and has been undefeated since his MMA debut in 2014.
And speaking of undefeated, Dern is no yawn in the ring either. The IBJJF superstar is currently 7-0 in mixed martial arts. Brazilian Ribas is 6-1. Both women have won half their pro fights by submission and are exceptionally comfortable on the ground, so it should be interesting to see who comes out with the W.
Rounding out the Tampa card are headliners Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson, as well as Luiz Pena and Matt Frevola, among others.