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Believe it or not, before dominating the Ultimate fighting championship, Royce Gracie had no prior experience in professional fighting or other combat sports. This veteran fighter, since his debut at UFC 1, showcased his exceptional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, revolutionizing the sport by proving the effectiveness of grappling against strikers.

Gracie recently made a fascinating appearance on the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ where he spoke at length about his initial reaction when his father placed him in the octagon for the very first time in a UFC event. He also delved into his unique fighting style and enduring love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Royce Gracie’s Unbelievable Introduction to UFC: From Zero Fights to UFC 1

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In the recent episode of JRE MMA #156, Rogan asked Royce Gracie how he felt watching his old fights. Gracie offered a surprising revelation about his initial participation. He admitted, “Sometimes I think, “What was my father thinking, putting me in there?” I never had a fight before; UFC 1 was my first fight.

Though Joe Rogan seemed taken aback by the revelation, Gracie continued, narrating another surprising detail. “I remember when they asked me how many fights I had, I said 51, but those were tournament matches when I was a kid competing in tournaments. I had never had a professional fight or even a street fight before.”

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Royce Gracie also opened up about his most preferred approach in fighting, which was “hit and don’t get hit.” He was later tumbled by the nostalgia by seeing old fighting videos from 1993 and added, “It’s crazy. I think my father was crazy to put me in there, man. No one had ever done it before, especially not on television in America. it had never been a thing. Then, all of a sudden, there were no time limits, no weight divisions, no gloves, no rules.”

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Despite his lack of professional fighting experience, Gracie’s exceptional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills proved dominant. He remarkably won all three of his fights at UFC 1  submission, showcasing the effectiveness of BJJ to the world. This paved the way for future generations of fighters, like Charles Oliveira and Brian Ortega, who now utilize BJJ as a core part of their MMA arsenals.

Gracie’s win at UFC 1: A Historic Victory

When Gracie signed up for the UFC, he had no prior professional fighting experience. Although he claimed to have participated in 51 fights, those were all grappling tournaments from his childhood. Despite this lack of experience, one must admire his father’s confidence in putting him in the octagon.

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In his first UFC 1 fight, Gracie faced the late Art Jimmerson, where he wasn’t the first to tap out, but he was the first to win by submission, defeating Jimmerson with a rear naked choke. Following his dominant win over Jimmerson, Gracie faced Ken Shamrock and secured a victory. In the finals, the 57-year-old continued his impressive streak, defeating Gerard Gordeau with another submission to become the first-ever UFC Champion.

All thanks to Gracie’s father’s belief in him, Royce entered the UFC even without any professional fighting experience and went on to dominate. His success undoubtedly motivated a generation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters to enter the world of MMA. As an MMA fan, who is your favorite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fighter? Comment your answer below.