What would mixed martial arts be like without jiu-jitsu?
Back in 1993, a tall and slender Brazilian by the name of Royce Gracie walked out to the UFC Octagon at UFC 1 wearing a jiu-jitsu gi with his black belt wrapped around his waist. Being outweighed by his opponents, Gracie shocked those viewing the eight-man tournament winning all of his fights in the first round by submission. Gracie took out Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock, and Gerard Gordeau all in one night, winning the UFC’s very first event, which took place in Denver, Colorado, exposing the viewers to a martial art that was obviously extremely effective.
Here, we take a look at Royce taking on a kung fu fighter that apparently had 15 years of training and had claimed to have been undefeated. The kung fu fighter also outweighed Royce by 15 pounds, according to the Gracie narrating the fight.
In the bare knuckle fight, we see the two fighters exchange a few strikes and Royce immediately closes the distance to get the fight in his world. Royce gets a hold of the kung fu fighter and takes the fight to the ground and quickly gets to the mount position. Royce’s head is held on to as he is in the mount and gets out after repeatedly hitting the kung fu fighter in the ribs and eventually takes the back of his opponent. Royce toys with his opponent opting not to end the fight with a choke and continues to punish the kung fu fighter with strikes. Royce ends up in a triangle choke from the top position and rains down strikes until his opponent gives up.
Were you a fan from the early days of the UFC? Let us know in the comment section your favorite fights from way back!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/4/2017.