Roger wants to make history for himself
He carries a weight on his strapping shoulders each time he steps into the ring.
It is the burden of a famous family name, one that is legendary in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and instrumental in the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the US.
But Roger Gracie has taken that responsibility in his stride and even excelled, winning 10 gold medals at the BJJ World Championships, and carving out a 7-2 win-loss record in mixed martial arts (MMA).
"I have been carrying the weight (of my family name) since the day I was born, since I decided to be a fighter," said the 34-year-old at a media lunch in Clarke Quay yesterday to announce Casio G-Shock as the official timekeeper for ONE Championship's Ascent to Power event on Friday.
"I am representing my family each time I step into the ring, it's something you learn to deal with, or else you won't succeed.
"But being a Gracie has helped me become a better fighter."
His maternal grandfather Carlos is seen as one of the founders of modern-day BJJ, while his cousin Rorion is one of the co-founders of UFC.
Roger will be looking for his own piece of history at the Ascent to Power event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
His light-heavyweight bout with Poland's Michal Pasternak has been elevated to a five-round championship bout, after injured middleweight world champion Vitaly Bigdash pulled out of his title fight against Aleksei Butorin.
The fight will be the night's co-main event, with Angela Lee and Mei Yamaguchi's headlining bout for the inaugural women's atomweight title.
While the Gracie school of BJJ emphasises patience, Roger has had to adapt his fighting style to suit the faster, aggressive modern MMA, shaped by shorter bouts.
But he believes he is well-equipped to take down his opponent, who is undefeated in 11 fights.
"The fact that he (Pasternak) has not lost before makes him a dangerous man... but he is going to fight against one of the best BJJ fighters ever," said the Brazilian, who resides in London and operates his own academy there."
"I think the belt is already mine; I am just waiting to put it on my waist," he added, half-jokingly.