Bellator 266’s Neiman Gracie Knows It’s Not Just Winning, But How He Wins That Matters

Neiman Gracie Bellator MMA
Neiman Gracie, Bellator 256 Credit: Bellator MMA

The Gracie name being synonymous with submissions, it was no surprise to see Bellator MMA post a “favorite Neiman Gracie Submission” poll ahead of the upcoming Bellator 266.

But what about Gracie’s own favorite submission? That’s a question Cageside Press posed to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace recently. With nine of his ten pro wins coming via submission, Gracie went with his Bellator 198 stoppage of Javier Torres.

“I think I’ll stay with the Torres arm-triangle submission. That was my favorite,” Gracie told us. As to why that one stands out, “I just think it was very clean and very beautiful, the way it happened,” he explained. “So that’s why it’s my favorite one.”

With the Gracie family going hand-in-hand with submissions, it’s easy to overlook his skill in other areas, the 32-year old agreed. “Yeah I think so,” said Gracie, who added that “it’s hard to be complete everywhere. I think when you’re really good at one thing, it’s hard to be good at other things too. It’s only normal to lack things when you’re really good at one.”

Gracie has put the time in, however, and fallen in love with more than just the grappling side of the sport. “I love Muay Thai, and I love boxing. I really like striking. I love all parts of the sport, you know?”

Last time out, Neiman Gracie came up short against Jason Jackson, going the distance and losing a decision that did not sit right with him. In terms of what he’d do different, “I think I would maybe not stay on my back for too long. But I thought I won the fight,” Gracie opined. “It was a very weird fight, but I thought I won. The ref stopped it when I was mounting him, to check his eye, and a couple weird things happened. That’s a fight that I would like to do again.”

He’ll look to rebound against Mark Lemminger, who Gracie recognizes is a “tough guy.” One that recently signed a long term deal with Bellator. “He’s pretty well-rounded. But I think he likes to wrestle more than strike, so I think this fight will become more of a grappling fight than a striking fight. But you never know, so I’ll be ready to fight him anywhere.”

Gracie is ranked #4 in the welterweight rankings, of which Gracie is a fan thus far. The question is where a win over Lemminger, further down in the rankings, leaves him. “I don’t know. It’s hard to say, but I think it all depends on, how do you win?” noted Gracie. Really, it’s how he wins that could make the difference. “If it’s a big win, if it’s a big finish, it will definitely get me somewhere. If not, I don’t think it will get me very far, but it will keep me active, it will keep me sharp.”

Bellator 266 takes place this Saturday, September 18 at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA. The main card airs on Showtime in the U.S.

For more from Neiman Gracie, here’s his Bellator 266 media day scrum!