The Gracie name holds a lot of prestige in the MMA world, but to Mark Lemminger, it is just another name.
Lemminger (12-3) returns to the Bellator cage for the fifth time on Saturday. Just three months ago, he snapped his first two-fight losing streak by knocking out Demarques Jackson at Bellator 260.
Now, he faces the No. 4 ranked welterweight Neiman Gracie. The Gracie name is royalty in the combat sports world; Lemminger, however, is not fazed by the name at all. In fact, he believes his family tree is stronger.
“I don’t know, man. My family tree is harder than his; I’m not too shaken by his name. It would be cool [to have his name on my resume]; the MMA community really, really respects the Gracies, which they should. But to me, he is just another opponent. I mean that with the most respect. I really do,” Lemminger told reporters during Bellator 266 media day.
Lemminger sees the fight as the classic striker vs. grappler match-up and is ready for wherever it goes.
“I think the game plan is pretty obvious in this fight. He is going to want to take me down and keep the fight on the ground, and I’m going to keep the fight standing and beat him up that way. I work with a lot of high-level wrestlers, and I think I’m going to be a hard guy to get in those positions. If it does go there, I’ve got a team of high-level grapplers, so I’m really not shy if it ends up on the ground.
Watch the rest of Mark Lemminger’s Bellator 266 Media Day appearance above. The event takes place this Saturday, September 18 at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA. The main card airs live on Showtime in the U.S.