After going on a hiatus for eight years, Renzo Gracie, 51, of Brazil is competing in the cage again. He will compete against Yuki “Sora” Kondo, 43, of Japan at “ONE: Reign of Kings” on July 27, 2018.
Taking place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, “ONE: Reign of Kings” marks the ONE Championship debut of both Gracie and Kondo. They will compete in the welterweight division.
“To be able to come back after all these years and do this again, it seems surreal to me but I have been preparing a long time for this,” Gracie stated. “I would like to thank Chatri Sityodtong and ONE Championship for the opportunity, for giving me the global stage once again, and for allowing me to satisfy my craving for competition. This one is for the fans.”
On July 24, 2018, Gracie and Kondo had their face-off at the “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the City of Dreams Manila in Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The event was attended by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Globe chief commercial officer Albert de Larrazabal, Globe’s Content Business Group senior vice president Nikko Z. Acosta, City of Dreams Manila senior vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Benning, Games and Amusements Board chairman Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra.
“We have a special treat for all the fans in Manila, as world-famous and legendary martial arts icon Renzo Gracie will be showcasing his talent for the final time in his career against Japanese veteran Yuki Kondo,” Sityodtong said. “I have known Renzo for a long time and it is an absolute honor and privilege to give them the stage for which he can perform once again and do what he loves to do in front of the entire world.”
Gracie is eyeing for a redemptive win. In his most recent bout, which was at “UFC 112” on April 10, 2010, he was knocked out by Matt Hughes, 44, of the United States.
Currently, Gracie holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 13 wins and 7 losses, which he aims to improve at “ONE: Reign of Kings.” Here is the Brazilian martial arts legend and Kondo at the press conference: