Kron Gracie criticizes Cub Swanson’s gym loyalty after being shut out of jiu-jitsu schools

TAMPA, Fla. – Kron Gracie doesn’t see any issues with Cub Swanson being disallowed in Gracie jiu-jitsu gyms ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 19.

Swanson (25-11 MMA, 10-7 UFC) revealed this ahead Saturday’s featherweight headliner against Gracie (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), he attempted to train at California jiu-jitsu gyms to brush up on his grappling. He was allegedly denied entry, though, citing loyalty to the Gracie family name.

Gracie said the situation paints a bigger picture about loyalty. He said Swanson should have stuck to his original training group, and that attempting to seek a spot on mats elsewhere is not something he believes in.

“The way I grew up in training and fighting martial arts is basically you have a clan and a team and you’re with your team forever,” Gracie told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at UFC on ESPN+ 19 open workouts. “If you leave your team you’re traitor. That’s the way I grew up. I have this instilled in me and no matter what’s going on with me or my team that’s my team. I don’t do get to just pick and choose as I go along with this career, whether it’s jiu-jitsu or whether it’s fighting. In the old times of war you had a clan and you can’t just go, ‘I didn’t like this clan this time I’m going to go somewhere else.’

“I think in modern-day right now you tell me something like that it’s like, ‘Duh.’ I want to know what gym told him not to,” Gracie continued. I saw him have a photo with a jiu-jitsu gym that was. He didn’t have his jiu-jitsu already set up? He doesn’t have his team set up? He’s been fighting for 15 years and doesn’t have these resources already? It doesn’t make any sense to me that this happened now.”

The fight marks Gracie’s second UFC appearances after making his debut with a submission of Alex Caceres nine months ago. He said he wanted back sooner, but this is how the situation unfolded.

Gracie said it was worth the wait, though, because he gets to fight one of the more successful 145-pound fighters in UFC/WEC history. Swanson may be on a four-fight skid currently, but Gracie said it’s an opportunity prove himself against a well-established foe.

“I’m grateful I get to test myself against Cub,” Gracie said. “I know he’s lost a few fights but he’s a top opponent and he’s only lost to top guys. It’s going to be a good test.”

UFC on ESPN+ 19 takes place Saturday at Amalie Arena. The entire card streams on ESPN+.

For more from Gracie, click on the video linked above.

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