UFC on ESPN 1 results, highlights: Kron Gracie makes successful debut in win over Alex Caceres
Gracie made it look easy in taking Caceres to the ground before forcing him to tap out
In a UFC debut that felt more like looking in a mirror of the sport's past, Kron Gracie needed just over two minutes to live up to his family's name with a first-round submission.
Gracie (5-0), the 30-year-old son of MMA legend Rickson Gracie (and nephew of UFC pioneer Royce), forced Alex Caceres to tap out via rear-naked choke on Sunday's undercard of the first UFC on ESPN show in Phoenix, Arizona.
"I think this is just what I do everyday," Gracie said. "It's pretty basic for me."
The 30-year-old Gracie appeared calm and cool trading strikes with Caceres (14-12, 1 NC), a fellow southpaw featherweight, in the opening minute. But Gracie's first attempt at a takedown eventually proved successful as he ducked a left hand and took the back of Caceres while standing.
Eventually, Gracie was able leap onto his opponent's back and force him to the ground. A deep choke attempt from behind saw the 30-year-old Caceres tap out at 2:05 of the opening round.
"Whoop, there it is," Gracie said. "It was good. I always expect a really tough match but I'm lucky that I got it done in the first.
"I'd like to come back as soon as possible. I'd like to thank my team, Nate Diaz and everybody who was in my corner."
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gracie's debut was much anticipated. The grandson of co-Gracie jiu-jitsu founder Helio, Gracie transitioned to MMA in 2014 after posting a record of 28-11 in professional grappling. He began his career with four straight submission wins under the Rizin banner in Japan.
Although he was initially reluctant to show much emotional or personality in his post-fight interview, Gracie broke character just enough to send a message to the UFC's 145-pound division.
"This is my first fight and everybody else better watch their f---ing neck," Gracie said.
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