Going into UFC 1, Rickson Gracie was widely accepted to be the man to represent the Gracie family. However in a shocking move by Helio Gracie, Royce was called upon to represent the Gracie family name. Art Davie joined MMAJunkie Radio to talk about what went on behind the scenes leading up to the first UFC event.
“Rickson wanted a million dollars. He said, ‘You and Rorion are making the big bucks. I want a million dollars.’ I said, ‘We ain’t making that kind of money, and we ain’t paying that kind of money.’”
“Rickson had really prepped Royce, so whatever the problems they had that I wasn’t aware of had been put under the carpet. In a very real sense, Rickson had put his spine into Royce’s back. At the show, I heard later on from Todd Hester, the publisher and editor of Gladiator Magazine, that Royce had lost it in the rehearsal. He was down on his knees crying, and Rickson was cradling him like a father. He said Rickson was holding him, like a dad holds his son, and comforting him.”
“The three most unhappy guys (after UFC 1) at the Monster’s Ball on Saturday night were Pat Smith, who’d gotten caught in an ankle lock by Ken Shamrock, and Ken Shamrock, who couldn’t believe that a 175-pound guy in a gi had made him tap out. And the third guy was Rickson Gracie.”