After nearly four years away from the Octagon, Kron Gracie
disappointed his fans with the worst performance of his career at
UFC 288.

Gracie was unable to get opponent Charles
to the canvas and on the feet, his output was almost
nonexistent in a unanimous decision defeat. That showing drew
criticism from UFC president Dana White in the aftermath.

“He came really limited tonight, fighting like he just left a time
capsule from 1995,” White said at the UFC 288 post-fight press

One week after the fight, Kron released a statement where he blamed
“bad advice” and a desire to please the jiu-jitsu community for the

“In a lifetime of fighting, it’s always been a fight to the death,”
the son of Rickson
wrote. “Understand the situation and willing to limit
myself, even that being said I threw no punches because of bad
advice and tried to please the jiu-jitsu community two days before
my fight. First fight in my life I didn’t throw a punch, going back
to my old ways.”

The statement was regarded by the jiu-jitsu community as an
indictment of Demian Maia,
who arrived two days before the event to corner Gracie. Maia, who
currently works as a UFC commentator in Brazil and runs his own
academy in Sao Paulo, recently discussed the subject in an
interview with Encarada .
According to Maia, he was in the corner at the request of Rickson

“A friend of mine, Dentinho, who is also a student of Rickson,
called me two months before the fight asking me to help Kron. I
told him that if Kron wanted to come to Brazil, I would do my best
to help him, but I couldn’t go to the U.S. to help his camp,” Maia

Nonetheless, Maia did what he could to help by studying Jourdain’s
fights and sending tips to Kron. One week before the bout, Dentinho
called him again, asking him to be in Kron’s corner.

“I asked Rickson, and he thanked me for all the help I’d provided,
but he would be grateful if I could go [to UFC 288],” Maia said.
“As everybody in the jiu-jitsu community knows, Rickson is my idol
and I couldn’t refuse that request. Dentinho sent me the ticket
after that. and I arrived there Thursday, two days before the
fight. Of course, since I hadn’t followed Kron´s camp, there wasn’t
too much to do. It was much more like a positive moral

As for Kron’s statement, Maia took the diplomatic route.

“I would rather not comment,” he said. “As I said, I went two days
before [UFC 288] for moral support at the request of my idol. I
have a lot of gratitude for Gracie family for all they have done
for our sport, and I would rather not comment.”

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Demian Maia Says He Agreed to Corner Kron Gracie ‘At the Request of My Idol’