This Month’s MMA Birthdays: Royce Gracie Turns 50

By Brian Knapp Dec 6, 2016

He was the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first household name, blazing a trail for all those who followed him. Three-time UFC tournament winner Royce Gracie will celebrate his 50th birthday on Dec. 12.

The scrawny Gracie burst on the scene on Nov. 12, 1993, when he submitted Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau in succession, introduced the martial arts world to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and won the UFC 1 tournament. He went on to win tournaments at UFC 2 and UFC 4, as he started his professional mixed martial arts career 11-0 before an April 1995 rematch with Shamrock ended in a draw. Gracie has gone 4-2-2 across eight subsequent appearances, his reputation tarnished somewhat by a blowout loss to Matt Hughes and a positive test for anabolic steroids in 2007. He has since linked arms with the Scott Coker-led Bellator MMA promotion and returned from close to a nine-year absence at Bellator 149 on Feb. 19, when he stopped Shamrock with a first-round knee and follow-up punches in their trilogy bout. Replays showed the knee struck Shamrock below the belt.

Gracie’s record currently sits at 15-2-3, with his only defeats coming to the aforementioned Hughes and the iconic Kazushi Sakuraba in their epic 90-minute encounter in Pride Fighting Championships. He was enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame in November 2003.

Others in MMA celebrating a birthday during the month of December:

DEC. 1

Shinsho Anzai (31)
Curtis Millender (29)
Richard Walsh (28)

DEC. 2

Dennis Hallman (41)
Billy Vaughan (33)
Marlon Vera (24)

DEC. 3

Vernon White (45)
Robert Hitte (41)
Seth Petruzelli (37)
Nina Ansaroff (31)
Shoki Omichi (29)

DEC. 4

Sean Daugherty (41)
Max Holloway (25)
Gianna Subba (24)

DEC. 5

Daijiro Matsui (44)
Travis Lutter (43)
Amy Davis (42)
Tetsuji Kato (39)
Kenichiro Togashi (36)
Mats Nilsson (33)

DEC. 6

Royler Gracie (51)
Jens Pulver (42)
Peggy Morgan (37)
Todd Duffee (31)

DEC. 7

Soa Palelei (39)
Ronaldo Souza (37)
K.J. Noons (34)
Dongi Yang (32)
Justin Patterson (31)
Michael Chiesa (29)
Claudia Gadelha (28)
Stephen Banaszak (26)

DEC. 8

Lucio Linhares (43)
Clay Guida (35)
Naoyuki Kotani (35)
Luiz Andrade I (31)
Pannie Kianzad (25)

DEC. 9

Chris Guillen (44)
Aaron Riley (36)
Joey Beltran (35)
Rani Yahya (32)
Terrell Hobbs (31)

DEC. 10

John Olav Einemo (41)
Andreas Kraniotakes (35)
Zoila Frausto (33)
Jamie Varner (32)
Soo Chul Kim (25)

DEC. 11

Kendall Grove (34)
Mark Drummond (31)
Amir Aliakbari (29)
Tony Martin (27)

DEC. 12

Royce Gracie (50)
Evangelista Santos (39)
Yuki Shojo (36)
Court McGee (32)
Luke Sanders (31)
Neiman Gracie (28)
Derrick Adkins (27)
Alessio Di Chirico (27)
Spencer Jebb (27)

DEC. 13

Evangelista Santos (39)
B.J. Penn (38)
Dennis Bermudez (30)

DEC. 14

Valdir Arraujo (32)
Caio Magalhaes (29)
Graham Park (28)
Heili Alateng (25)
Ion Cutelaba (23)

DEC. 15

Yasubey Enomoto (33)
Jared Chaffee (32)
Ivica Truscek (29)

DEC. 16

Narantungalag Jadambaa (41)
Elaina Maxwell (38)
James Thompson (38)
Adriano Martins (34)
Takeya Mizugaki (33)
Won Sik Park (30)
Cody McKenzie (29)

DEC. 17

Chuck Liddell (47)
Kiyoshi Tamura (47)
David Loiseau (37)
Francisco Trevino (35)
Joe Ray (32)
Matt Dwyer (27)
Aline Sattelmayer (26)

DEC. 18

Kim Couture (41)
Evan Dunham (35)
Roland Delorme (33)
Bojan Velickovic (28)

DEC. 19

Davis Sylvester (43)
Michihiro Omigawa (41)
Satoshi Ishii (30)
Darrion Caldwell (29)
Jack Marshman (27)
Steve Montgomery (26)
Tatiana Suarez (26)

DEC. 20

Mark Coleman (52)
Steve Granieri (42)
Taiyo Nakahara (34)
Tristan Johnson (33)
Alexei Kudin (32)
Robert Whittaker (26)

DEC. 21

Mark Kerr (48)
Masakatsu Ueda (39)
Mike Bannon (34)
Brad Tavares (29)

DEC. 22

David Branch (35)
Bentley Syler (34)
Norman Parke (30)
Stephen Langdown (24)

DEC. 23

Fabricio Camoes (38)
Joanne Calderwood (30)

DEC. 24

Drew Fickett (37)
Jason Miller (36)
Cyril Asker (31)
Tim Elliott (30)
Aisling Daly (29)
David Khachatryan (29)

DEC. 25

Rafael Natal (34)
Damien Brown (32)
Jordan Smith (32)
Rolando Velasco (30)
Dustin Ortiz (28)

DEC. 26

Joe Angel Zamora (45)
Jerome Le Banner (44)
Alex Stiebling (40)
Dan Hornbuckle (36)
Jesus Martinez (33)
Gregor Gracie (30)
Advin Omic (30)
Albert Tumenov (25)

DEC. 27

Liron Wilson (44)
Daniel Acacio (39)
Joe Pingitore (26)

DEC. 28

Gerald Lovato (38)
Richard Knepp (33)
Matt Bessette (32)
Katlyn Chookagian (28)

DEC. 29

Rumina Sato (43)
Mitsuhiro Ishida (38)
Sheila Gaff (27)
Camila Lima (27)

DEC. 30

Shannon Gugerty (35)
Nick Osipczak (32)
Wagner Prado (30)

DEC. 31

Ian Freeman (46)
Diego Sanchez (35)
Randy Steinke (30)
Chidi Njokuani (28)

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