UFC Co-Founder: ‘Gracie’s Are Alpha Male’s All Trying To Impress One Old Man’
UFC co-founder Art Davie recently spent some time speaking with MMAJunkie Radio going over a host of topics not limited to his new book about the founding of mixed martial arts in America, titled “Is This Legal.” He also spent some time going to detail about the experiences he had with the Gracie family.
“A lot of it was due to the Gracie family dynamics. I never could keep track of all the drama. They’re a complicated group of alpha males, and every one of them, ultimately, was trying to impress the old man.”
“All along, I’m thinking Rickson is the family champ. He looked like a cross between Marlon Brando and Mike Tyson. He was a stud; he was a jaguar… He had done professional fights.
“At one point, Rorion says to me, ‘It’s going to be Royce.’ I said, ‘Royce? He’s the guy who babysits your kids. He lives in a little apartment above the garage with a piranha in a hexagonal fish tank. He ain’t got no checking account, no car.’ I’m not even sure he had a girlfriend. Royce? He said, ‘It’s going to be Royce.’
“He used to call me Arturo. He said, ‘Arturo, the cool thing about Royce is, he don’t weigh but 176 pounds soaking wet, and my father used to weigh 140, taking down guys bigger than him. People, when they watch him do this, they’re going to be amazed. Rickson, when he stares at you, you’re going to fall apart.’ So it was brilliant on Rorion’s part in some ways.”
“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 werenPat 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.”
as transcribed by Steven Marocco.