Roger Gracie walks us through the end of his fight with King Mo, where a headbutt followed by a brutal punch to the temple left him fetal on the canvas:
“I couldn’t do what I have trained to do back then. I believed in my jab and he (King Mo) wasn’t bringing much danger,” he said. “When I heard Renzo (Gracie) saying there was a minute and a half left for the end of the first round, I relaxed. I didn’t have enough time to submit him nor take him down, he wasn’t punching me, so I thought I would keep it that way until the second round. That was the first mistake. The second was that he accidentally hit his head against mine, and I got dizzy. I moved backwards, he punched me and I felt. That head was practically an accidental knockout. When I tried to grab him, clinch, his head hit my face and I backed of”.
“I was supposed to work on the clinch, because I wouldn’t risk trying to grab his legs and take him down because it wasn’t the beginning of the fight, so I wasn’t using much energy with no purpose. I was supposed to work on the clinch and take him down. And during the first round I didn’t try to do that, and suddenly I realized the danger he was putting me in. Losing is terrible. Nobody likes losing, especially being knocked out. But what can I do? I’ll train so it won’t happen again”.
More relevant than the headbutt excuse for getting knocked out is Gracie’s indication that he would indeed carry on and keep fighting MMA. Considering it took him 5 years to amass his 4-1 record, many speculated that he was just dabbling in MMA because that’s what big strong Gracies are forced by the clan to do for a while. But if getting KTFO has Roger reconsidering his new profession, he isn’t showing it. He actually just announced he’s skipping out on the ADCC grappling tournament because “I’m closer to MMA and leaving Jiu-Jitsu aside a little.”