Professor Royce Gracie - The First UFC Hall of Famer

Professor Royce Gracie - The First UFC Hall of Famer

1. Royce Gracie’s Details

Royce Gracie’s Details
Name  Royce Gracie
Nickname  N/A
Born  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Age  58 Years
Date of birth  December 12, 1966
Weight  79kg (175 lbs)
Weight Division Light Heavyweight
Last Weigh in 86 kg (190.8 lbs)
Height  6’1’’
Foundational Style  Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Career Disclosed Earnings  N/A
College University  N/A
Rank 7th Degree Red/Black Coral belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Head Coach  Helio Gracie
Last Fight  2016, Bellator 149
Favorite Technique N/A
Lineage  Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie -> Helio Gracie -> Royce Gracie
Team Association  Gracie Humaita

2. Royce Gracie’s Biography

Royce Gracie was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 12 December 1966. He is the son of the Grand Master of BJJ and GJJ, Helio Gracie. Royce Gracie is the father of MMA. He is irreplaceable in MMA as he is the representative of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu from the Gracie family. He retired from MMA with a record of 15-2-3.

2.1. Little Royce’s Dedication to Jiu-Jitsu

Like other members of the Gracie family, Royce also started training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as a toddler. His other brothers named Rorion, Rickson, Royler, and Relson are all top BJJ fighters. He made his debut in BJJ when he was 8 years old.

He was very dedicated to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. As a child, he visited his father’s gym every weekend. He was promoted to Blue Belt at the age of 16.

2.2. Promoted to Black Belt

Royce got his Blue Belt at the age of 16. His hard work and dedication made him unbeatable. Within two years of his Blue Belt, Royce was promoted to Black Belt by his father. He got his Black Belt at the age of 18.

Helio Gracie deflected a little from the rules for this BJJ prodigy and granted him his Black Belt. The ceremony was co-hosted by his elder brother, Rickson Gracie.  

2.3. Relocated to America

After achieving his Black Belt from his father, Royce went to America with his brother Rorion. He started a little academy in their garage. He used to teach for 10 hours.

Both brothers ran their own academy named Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy, started by Rorion in 1978. But Royce could not attend the academy mostly due to his fights and travel all over the world. This was the time Royce’s fame touched the height of Horizon.   

2.4. Royce’s Coaching Career

Royce Gracie started his coaching career at 14. It was then he was not even a Blue Belt. but as he started fighting in competitions from age of 8, he had great skills to train other fighters.

He used his coaching skills in the USA with his brother Rorion. He also took classes in GJJ in his garage.

Royce Gracie is a big name who gave top students to the BJJ and MMA world. He is not only coaching in his academy but also used to give classes to various Law enforcement institutes like the army and police of various countries.

2.5. Royce’s Wife and Children

Royce Gracie is now living in California with his wife, Marianne. They have three sons and one daughter. Their sons are Khonry, Khor, and Kheydon. Their daughter's name is Kharianna.

2.6. Pioneer of MMA

Royce is the legend and most influential personality in the history of MMA. He is the pioneer of mixed martial arts. He made a great number of records in the history of UFC. It was his elder brother Rorion who chose him to represent the family fighting style to the world.

Royce won various matches in UFC in which he successfully demonstrated that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best fighting styles. He defeated various martial artist masters of boxing, wrestling, Karate, Karatedo Daido Juku, and Kyokushin to show the dominance of his family style.   

2.7. Never Harmed His Opponent

Royce has his own unique style of fighting in which he tried to never harm his opponent. He said in his interview once that his father advised him to never harm his opponent or bleed him. Your main goal is to submit him. Royce's own words about this fighting style are

“Don't hurt your opponent if you don't have to, submit him”.

2.8. Longest MMA Match in History

Royce Gracie is honored to have a name for fighting the longest match in the history of MMA. After leaving the UFC, Royce Gracie competed in the Pride Fighting Championship held in Japan. He fought for 90 minutes against a Japanese champion, Kazushi Sakuraba.

Royce Gracie was defeated by Sakuraba in this match by TKO. In 2007, Gracie again faced Sakuraba in Dynamite USA where he defeated Sakuraba.

He fought in UFC 5 for 36 minutes against Ken Shamrock. Both fighters did not submit so the match was declared a draw.     

2.9. The First UFC Hall of Famer

In 2003, Royce Gracie was the first person ever who was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. When he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, his record was 13-1-1.

This is an admirable fact that Royce Gracie won 11 out of 13 matches with submission. These are the first eleven fights of his career in the UFC.  

2.10. Royce’s Top Students

Since 2004, Royce Gracie continuously introduced various Black Belt champions to the MMA world. Royce Gracie's top students include Chuck Norris, Nicolas Cage, Ed O’Neil, Jim Carrey, Josh Duhamel, and Guy Ritchie.

2.11. G.R.A.C.I.E Course For Law Enforcement

Royce Gracie also launched his G.R.A.C.I.E Law Enforcement course in which he trained special arm forces and police forces. His G.R.A.C.I.E Law Enforcement course is famous all over the world.

Along with giving his services to the USA, he also trained the special forces of Israel. He also regularly travels to England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, Spain, UAE, Portugal, and South America.    

2.12. Defeated Four Opponents in One Night

Royce Gracie is the only fighter in history who defeated four opponents in one night. In UFC 2, he submitted Minoki Ichihara (Japanese Kūdō Champion) with Lapel Choke, Jason DeLucia with Armbar, and Remco Pardoel with Lapel Choke.

In the final of UFC 2, he defeated Patrick Smith (Kickboxer) with TKO and became the second-time UFC champion.  

2.13. Royce Gracie: The Giant Killer

At the end of 2004, on 31 December Royce Gracie faced Akebono Taro, an American-born  Japanese sumo wrestler. He was 6 feet and 8 inches long with a heavy body. It was assumed that Akebono would easily overcome Gracie due to his big size.

Royce Gracie submitted Akebono with Omoplata in 2 minutes and 13 seconds. It was a great representation of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu which enables a small-sized fighter to defeat a large-sized opponent. After the match, Akebolo’s words are

"I did everything my trainers told me not to do."

After the demise of his father, Royce remembered his father’s time and wore a navy blue belt instead of a Coral Belt. The Navy Blue Belt was the sign of an instructor in the old days. 

3. Royce Gracie’s Historic Fights

3.1. Royce Gracie Vs. Taro Akebono

Royce Gracie faced Taro Akebono in K-1 PREMIUM 2004. Taro Akebon was an American-born  sumo wrestler who trained in japan. He was very giant in size with a height of 6 '8'’. It seemed that Akebono would overcome Gracie due to his large size.

At the start of the match, Royce Gracie tried to attack Akebono but this attack was unsuccessful due to the big size of the opponent. Akebono took down Gracie and put his weight on him. Royce showcased his high spirit and escaped from Akebono’s grip.

Akebono once again took him down. Gracie started striking and then seized his arm movement by applying Omoplata. Royce Gracie submitted a big-sized opponent in 2 minutes and 13 seconds with Omoplata. 

Date Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Time
31/12/2004 K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite!! Akebono Taro Win Submission (omoplata) 1 2:13

3.2. Royce Gracie Vs. Art Jimmerson, The first UFC Fight Ever

Royce Gracie faced Art Jimmerson in UFC 1, the first ever match of UFC. Art Jimmerson came with a glove on so that he could resist the newly emerging martial artist with his heavy punches.

At the start of the match, Royce went for a single leg and took down Art Jimmeron. He completely mounted him and seized his leg movement by using his feet. Art Jimmerson did not understand how to counter the grappling effect with a glove on his hand.

Royce Gracie submitted Art Jimmerson with Smother Choke in just 2 minutes and 18 seconds in the first round. This was the first-ever representation of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world as the greatest martial art.

Date Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Time
12/11/1993 UFC 1 Art Jimmerson Win Submission (smother choke) 1 2:18

3.3. Royce Gracie Vs. Ken Shamrock

In 1993, at UFC 1, Royce Gracie faced Ken Shamrock for the first time and submitted him within one minute. Royce again faced Ken Shamrock in UFC 5. As in all other UFC fights, Royce Gracie came in a specific GJJ uniform (Gi).

At the start of the match, Shamrock submitted Royce and mounted him. Royce Gracie tried to escape but ended up beneath Shamrock applying full guard and strangling Shamrock's neck. Shamrock struggled to escape his head but Royce did not let him succeed until time up.

Five extra minutes are granted to both fighters. Shamrock again took down Gracie and struck his face with his head. Royce Gracie did not lose his spirit and collected his strength. Near the end minutes, Shamrock became aggressive and put pressure on Gracie. He also struck Gracie’s face to bleed.  

Royce Gracie defended himself by strangling his head and bu clinching so that he could defend himself from head striking. He proved that he is a master of offensive as well as defensive techniques. The match ended up as a draw.  

Date Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Time
07/04/1995 UFC 5 Ken Shamrock Draw Draw 1 36:00:00

4. Fighting Championships

Royce Gracie fought many bouts in various fighting championships. He was the first fighter who represented Gracie Jiu-Jitsu on the world stage by showcasing his skills at UFC. He was the first member of the Gracie family who is honored to represent Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the World.

4.1. Royce Gracie's UFC Career

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was an innovation of Rorion Gracie along with entrepreneur Art Davie, and Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG). The main purpose of this fighting championship was to find out the best fighting style.

First Gracie to Appear in UFC

Rorion Gracie introduced his brother, Royce Gracie to the UFC as a representative of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Royce Gracie continuously won the first ten matches and became the first-ever fighter to win consecutive 10 UFC matches.

Thrice Ultimate Fighting Champion 

In UFC 1, Royce Gracie fought three fights in one night and submitted all his opponents. He introduced the world to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as the best fighting style of Martial Art.

In his first fight with Art Jimmerson, he submitted his opponent with a smother choke in 2 minutes and 18 seconds. He amazed the world by introducing a fighting style that did not hurt the opponent and submitted him in the end. 

On the same night, Royce Gracie submitted Ken Shamrock with RNC in just 57 seconds of the first round. In the final, he faced Gerard Gordeau. He managed to take down Gerard and submitted him with RNC in just one minute and 44 seconds in the first round. Royce Gracie became Ultimate Fighting Champion.          

To defend his title Royce again appeared in UFC 2. In this championship, Royce Gracie made history by defeating four opponents on the same night. He submitted three of his opponents. In the final of UFC 2, Royce faced Patrick Smith, an American kickboxer. He defeated him with TKO and became champion again in UFC 2.

In UFC 4, Royce once again won three matches in one night with submission. He once again achieved his title as an Ultimate Fighting Championship.     

Exhausted in UFC 3

In UFC 3, Royce Gracie came as a two-time Ultimate Fighting Champion. He submitted his first opponent Kimo Leopoldo with an armbar. But before the second match started, Royce Gracie was exhausted due to dehydration and left the competition. This was the first UFC match in which Royce did not win.

Executed Super Fight in UFC 5

In UFC 1, when Royce submitted Ken Shamrock, Shamrock wanted another match with Royce. He claimed that Royce wore gi while Shamrock was not allowed to wear wrestling shoes. So he challenged Royce to a rematch.

The rematch could not be held in UFC 2 due to an injury. In UFC 3, Royce was exhausted, and again this rematch could not be conducted.

But in UFC 5, Royce faced Shamrock. Both fighters fought for 30 minutes. But match results could not conclude the winner. So extra five minutes are granted. In the end, the match concluded with a draw. 

Return to UFC

At the start of 2006, the owner of UFC announced the return of UFC's first champion, Royce Gracie to UFC 60. The match was held on 27 May 2006. Royce Gracie faced Matt Hughes.

At the start of the match, Royce escaped from the armbar. But he submitted to Matt Hughes with a TKO. After losing that fight, Royce Gracie’s words are:

"No, we knew what he was planning to do. We worked out his game plan before the fight, and he did exactly what we expected. I over-trained for the fight. That was all. I started training too much, too hard, for too long. He did exactly what we expected."

4.2. Royce Gracie’s Career in Pride Fighting Championship

Royler Gracie made his debut in the Pride Fighting Championship in 2000. When Royler Gracie was submitted to Sakuraba, a Japanese wrestler and mixed martial artist. Royce Gracie was a rising champion at that time who was the UFC champion three times and was undefeated till then. To fight with Sakuraba, Royce signed up for the Pride Fighting Championship.

Royce faced Nobuhiko Takada in the Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round. He won the match by unanimous decision. In the quarter-final against Sakuraba, Royce Gracie fought for 90 minutes. In the 6th round, Royce was fatigued and Gracie's corner ended the fight by throwing in a towel. Sakuraba won the match with a TKO.

In his MMA career, Sakuraba defeated two more Gracies, Ryan, and Renzo Gracie, and earned his nickname “ Gracie Hunter”.

Royce Gracie fought another match in the Pride Fighting Championship against Hidehiko Yoshida. After a great execution of fighting skills by both fighters, The match was concluded as a draw.  

4.3. Bellator 149 Winner

Royce Gracie once again faced Ken Shamrock in Bellator 149. Before this match, he faced Ken Shamrock in UFC 5 and ended the match with a Draw. In Bellator 149, Royce Gracie won the match with TKO (knee and punches).

Royce Gracie ended up in Bellator 149 with controversies. Shamrock defended the stoppage but Royce was announced the winner of the match. Later, it also came to news that Ken Shamrock tested positive for banned substances. 

4.4. Royce Gracie BJJ Fight

Royce Gracie accepted a challenge from Wallid Ismael who was challenging him for years. He was a student of Carlson Gracie. He had his opinion that Carlson Gracie institute is better than Helio Gracie. Wallid Ismael defeated Ralph Gracie and Renzo Gracie before this challenge.

Royce Gracie was a champion at that time in MMA and was considered untouchable. But he did not compete in the grappling event for years. He accepted his challenge. Both fighters faced each other in December 1998. 

Wallid Ismael submitted Royce Gracie within 5 minutes with Clock Choke. Royce Gracie was unconscious at the end of the fight. This victory gave a lot of fame to Wallid Ismael. Wallid Ismael has only prize money and sponsors as sources of income and became one of the BJJ Black Belt who lives only on BJJ fights in Brazil.          

5. Royce Gracie Professional Record Break in MMA

5.1. Royce Gracie MMA Record

Matches Wins Losses Draw
20 15 2 3

5.2. Royce Gracie Method of Winning and Losing Matches

Matches Wins Losses
By TKO/KO 2 2
By Submission  11 0
By Decision  2 0

5.3. Royce Gracie Method of Submission

Submission Method Wins Losses
Omoplata  1 0
Triangle Choke  1 0
Armbar  3 0
RNC 3 0
Lapel Choke  2 0
Smother Choke  1 0

6. Royce Gracie’s MMA Fight History

Date Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round TIME
19/02/2016  Bellator 149 Ken Shamrock Win TKO (knee and punches) 1 2:22
02/06/2007  Dynamite!! USA Kazushi Sakuraba Win Decision (unanimous) 3 5:00
27/05/2006  UFC 60 Matt Hughes Loss TKO (punches) 1 4:39
31/12/2005  K-1 PREMIUM 2005 Dynamite!! Hideo Tokoro Draw Draw 2 10:00
31/12/2004  K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite!! Akebono Taro Win Submission (omoplata) 1 2:13
31/12/2003  Pride Shockwave 2003 Hidehiko Yoshida Draw Draw 2 10:00
01/05/2000  Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals Kazushi Sakuraba Loss TKO (corner stoppage) 6 15:00
30/01/2000  Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round Nobuhiko Takada Win Decision (unanimous) 1 15:00
07/04/1995  UFC 5 Ken Shamrock Draw Draw 1 36:00:00
16/12/1994  UFC 4 Dan Severn Win Submission (triangle choke) 1 15:49
16/12/1994  UFC 4 Keith Hackney Win Submission (armbar) 1 5:32
16/12/1994  UFC 4 Ron van Clief Win Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 3:59
09/09/1994  UFC 3 Kimo Leopoldo Win Submission (armbar) 1 4:40
1103/1994  UFC 2 Patrick Smith Win TKO (submission to punches) 1 1:17
1103/1994  UFC 2 Remco Pardoel Win Submission (lapel choke) 1 1:31
1103/1994  UFC 2 Jason DeLucia Win Submission (armbar) 1 1:07
1103/1994  UFC 2 Minoki Ichihara Win Submission (lapel choke) 1 5:08
12/11/1993  UFC 1 Gerard Gordeau Win Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 1:44
12/11/1993  UFC 1 Ken Shamrock Win Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 0:57
12/11/1993  UFC 1 Art Jimmerson Win Submission (smother choke) 1 2:18

7. Royce Gracie’s Top Fight Links


On This Day: Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock (1993) | UFC 1 Free Fight

UFC 5 Free Fight: Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock 2 (1995)

Royce Gracie (Brazil) vs Taro Akebono (USA) | MMA Fight, HD

Photo Credit: @realroyce

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