Neiman Gracie impressed by opponent Goiti Yamauchi’s jiu-jitsu level: ‘It’s very, very high’

·2 min read

Neiman Gracie’s upcoming opponent might be new to the weight class, but he’s been on his radar for a long time.

Gracie (11-3 MMA, 9-3 BMMA) takes on Goiti Yamauchi in the main event of Friday’s Bellator 285 in South Dakota. It’s a matchup pitting two of the best grapplers on the company’s roster. Yamauchi (27-5 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) doesn’t have the same family prestige or the sport jiu-jitsu accolades as Gracie, but that doesn’t mean Gracie doesn’t have high regard for his ground game.

“I used to watch him a lot because he has such a good submission game,” Gracie told MMA Junkie. “I followed him a lot and his fights.”

He later added,

“I’ve watched him for years. He’s really, really good. (His jiu-jitsu) is very, very high. The guy has over 20 submissions (on his record). I think it’s very, very high. If I’m able to finish him with a submission, I think that puts me at the top.”

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Yamauchi emphasized at Wednesday’s Bellator 284 media day that he’s honored to be fighting a Gracie family member. Gracie very much respects Yamauchi’s approach.

“It’s great,” Gracie said. “He’s a gentleman, I’m a gentleman. It’s going to be a gentlemen fight, and it’s just business at the end of the day. I think it’s nice. I’ve fought guys who’ve had the same mentality before, and it’s really nice.

“I like this way better. I feel like sometimes people do trash talk that is fake, and it brings a bad energy to the fight. I like this way better.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie