Kron Gracie ends near four year layoff to face Charles Jourdain at UFC 288

Kron Gracie ends near four-year layoff to face Charles Jourdain at UFC 288

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Kron Gracie will make his long-awaited return to the octagon this May when he faces Canadian striker Charles Jourdain at UFC 288

UFC 288 is to go down on May 6, 2023, live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Kron Gracie hasn’t fought since his unanimous decision defeat to Cub Swanson back in October of 2019.

That was the first defeat of his young career.

Prior to that, he submitted (rear naked choke) 63-fight veteran Hideo Tokoro in just his third professional bout under the Rizin banner. He’d fight just once more for Rizin, where he submitted (rear naked choke) UFC veteran and former Shooto champion Tatsuya Kawajiri, who was 35-10-2 going into the fight.

Next would come his UFC debut, where he submitted Alex Caceres in the opening round, also via rear-naked choke, to improve his professional record to 5-0.

Gracie hadn’t fought in over two years going into his UFC debut, so he’s no stranger to long layoffs.

Then Gracie lost to Swanson later that year and hasn’t fought since.

Charles Jourdain on the other hand also came to the UFC in 2019, where he entered the promotion as a two-division TKO champion. He’s had a bit of a rocky road since joining the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, but he’s also had some stellar performances in these ten fights.

Jourdain was 9-1 going into his promotional debut, and since then he’s gone 4-5-1, though he has wins over the likes of Doo Ho Choi (TKO), Marcelo Rojo (TKO), Andre Ewell (UD), and Lando Vannata (guillotine choke).

Over Jourdain’s latest two appearances, he lost to the likes of Shane Burgos (MD) and Nathaniel Wood (UD), the Burgos fight of which most saw him winning. That was quite the controversial decision.

Jourdain gets stronger and stronger as the fight goes on, round three always being his best, most violent rounds; his split decision defeat to Andre Fili and split draw to Joshua Culibao in back-to-back outings really lit a fire under him and it shows.

This matchup is a perfect example of striking versus grappling in MMA:

Jourdain is a very good kickboxer with heavy kicks and underrated hands, and he has great flying knees to go along with it. Gracie on the contrary is perhaps the best BJJ practitioner in the sport right now. The man submitted Garry Tonon at the ADCC world championships, if that says anything.

Who do you see coming out on top in this featherweight bout going down at UFC 288?

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