Khonry Gracie

Bellator 209’s Khonry Gracie: “I want to know what winning feels like”

After a lone amateur fight, Khonry Gracie took on the challenge of turning pro; a big task for any mixed martial artist. And when your first fight is at The Forum and last name is Gracie it comes with a great deal of both attention and pressure. Things may not have went smoothly at Bellator 192, but that hasn’t deterred the 21-year-old who will step in the Bellator cage against Avi Baron at Bellator 209.

When asked about what he took away from his first Bellator fight, Khonry quickly replied with “Experience. I had almost none going into the first pro fight. Fighting an amateur fight is nothing like the pros. I’ll start that off right there. The amateur setting is very small. It’s not a big arena. Going into the first Bellator fight in the LA Forum, that’s a sizable stadium. You know it was, I don’t want to say nerve racking, but it was definitely wow. Wow, when I walked out there, it was bigger then I imagined.”

As far as the lead up to the fight, Khonry said “Mentally it was all good, physically it was of course all good. It was more of stepping out onto the run way and you like, you look at the cage, you look at the stands and the crowd. And you’re like wow. It’s a site to see and coming from that perspective is different then anything else?

Having only one fight before his pro debut was a choice that was made. “I don’t live life with regrets, so I made my decision and I’m here to stick by it. I wanted to come to Bellator eventually and they offered me a spot on the roster, I said of course lets do it.”

Coming off the loss, Khonry’s competitive fire was burning to the point where “The next day the first thing I wanted to do was go back an spar, but my father being the wiser man of the two of us. You know with all the experience he has had in the cage. He urged me to take a week or two off. Which I did. Kinda clear my mind. I went up to the country a little bit, got away, took my dog, escaped for a while. Than I came back . When I came back lets just say I was eager to learn.”

And the last couple months of training have been, “Very high paced, very intense when it comes to the spar side of it. I think like I said it was a lack of experience going into the first fight. I did do sparring before the first fight, but I could have done more. You could always do more. You could always improve something. I think we did a lot more sparring before this fight. Just to get me comfortable with different opponents. We work a lot more on the Muay Thai side, on the kickboxing side of it, using more length and reach. And you know, kicks because I am lengthy with my legs. It was something I didn’t utilize at all in the first fight really, besides a few leg kicks. That will be something that I think will be more utilized in this next fight coming up.

Now after having had a pro fight how has it changed your perspective on training and fighting? “When you lose it sucks. But there’s two ways you can take it. You either lose and you go home and your down and you want to cry, this and that. Or you go home, like I said I went home and I wanted to train. I didn’t want to take a week off. I didn’t want to sit around and do nothing. NO, I wanted to get back in the gym. I wanted to work. It was more like a fire got lit. Now I know what losing feels like, I want to know what winning feels like. Let’s go get it.”

DAZN/Paramount Main Card
Featherweight Title: champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (27-4) vs. Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (17-3)
Welterweight: Ryan Couture (11-6) vs. Haim Gozali (8-5)
Light Heavyweight: Phil Davis (19-4) vs. Vadim Nemkov (9-2)
Featherweight: Cindy Dandois (12-3) vs. Ola Rubin (4-0)
Heavyweight: Kirill Sidelnikov (11-5) vs. Adam Keresh (2-0)
Bellator App Prelims
Lightweight: Ido Halfon (0-0) vs. Itay Tratner (1-0)
Light Heavyweight: Nisim Rozales (0-0) vs. Nika Ben Tuashy (0-0)
Featherweight: Roy Peretz (4-2) vs. Itzik Rubinov (0-0)
Welterweight: Simon Smotritsky (4-0) vs. Matan Levi (3-1)
Welterweight: Fadi Haiyadre (0-0) vs. Christos Nicolaou (1-1)
Light Heavyweight: Ram Banano (0-1) vs. Natan Borovytskyi (0-0)
Featherweight: Honor Kelesh (3-0) vs. Andrey Barberoshe (5-6)
Strawweight: Yulia Sachkov (0-1) vs. Viktoria Makarova (0-0)
Featherweight: Kirill Medvedovski (11-6) vs. Denis Plancia (6-0)
Bantamweight: Elazar Tariku (4-1) vs. Sidemar Honorio (12-6)
Welterweight: Jackie Gosh (7-1) vs, Jamil Ibragimov (1-0)
Welterweight: Khrony Gracie (0-1) vs. Avi Baron (0-1)
Lightweight: Aviv Gozali (0-0) vs. Anton Lazebnov (0-0)