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Royce Gracie

Royce Gracie etched his name in the history books with his incredible run of success in the earliest days of the UFC.

Gracie famously won UFC 1 with ease, securing three submission victories in less than five minute combined, despite being the smallest, least physically imposing fighter in the competition.

Jiu-jitsu was now firmly on the map thanks to Gracie’s endevours, but despite his opponents having some idea what to expect he would still go on to win the UFC 2 and UFC 4 tournaments as well, while extending his unbeaten record to 11-0.

Next came a superfight rematch with Ken Shamrock at UFC 5, but that would prove to be somewhat of a stalemate, lasting 36 minutes before the fight was eventually declared a draw.

Gracie was still undefeated, but behind the scenes there was unrest.  Part-UFC owner Rorian Gracie had sold his shares after UFC 4 due to things like time limits and weight classes being added, and after UFC 5  in 1995 Royce followed suit by leaving too.

For five years Gracie disappeared from the MMA scene altogether, only to resurface in the PRIDE organization in the year 2000, notching up another victory before a famous fight against Kazushi Sakuraba that resulted in his first ever loss.

Gracie would only have a few fights in the years that followed, before finally returning to the UFC in 2006, some nine years since his last  appearance, but was TKO’d by Matt Hughes.

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