Neiman Gracie showed a different side of himself in the Bellator 266 co-main event.
It couldn’t have gone much better for Gracie against Mark Lemminger at San Jose’s SAP Center on Saturday. In a short but thrilling slugfest, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert scored his first stoppage on the feet.
“I’m very happy with the fight, I’m very happy winning the way that I did,” Gracie (11-2) told Cageside Press following his first-round finish. “I’ve been working my striking for such a long time, and I always wanted to show this side of my game.”
Ahead of the fight, Gracie had spoken of falling in love with all aspects of the fight game. And his stand-up could be something we see more of. “Not that I want to, but if it happens, it’s okay,” he explained, before admitting that “I like submissions better.”
Another belief Gracie held coming into the fight was that how he got the win could matter most. So consider Saturday’s win over Lemminger to be a statement. While the welterweight division is currently ruled by Yaroslav Amosov, and Douglas Lima vs. Michael “Venom” Page transpires next month, Gracie is still very much in the mix.
“I said before the fight that it all depended on how the win is going to be. If it’s a good win, it can definitely put me up there,” Gracie stated. A good win it very much was. Now, Gracie has his sights set on champ Amosov — and believes he has what it takes to defeat him. “I really want to fight the champ. He’s a really good fighter, but I believe I have his kryptonite.”
What the full Bellator 266 post-fight press conference with Neiman Gracie above. More post-fight coverage can be found below!