Plan Was for Rickson Gracie, Not Royce Gracie, to Fight in Early UFCs

By Staff Nov 12, 2013

“No Holds Barred: Evolution” author Clyde Gentry, on “Rewind,” discussing how Rickson Gracie was originally expected to fight in the UFC instead of Royce Gracie:

“Make no mistake, Rorion [Gracie] controlled Royce. Even when I interviewed Royce, Rorion insisted on being on the line. Anything Royce said that he disagreed with or maybe he said something he didn’t really like, he wanted to move onto another question or something else. You’ve got to understand, Rorion came to this country. … Then of course as things started to develop, that’s where he brought over Royce to watch his kids and kind of help out with the gym and some of these other things. That’s where that trust developed, where Royce was looking at Rorion obviously for guidance.

“Now Rickson, on the other hand, was a whole other story and certainly had a lot more maturity and was certainly farther down the game than Royce was. I think part of it was control. Part of it was that Rickson really saw from a monetary standpoint, I should be the one in there. Art [Davie] so graciously detailed a meeting between himself, Rorion, Rickson and Royce. Royce basically, [Davie] said, really didn’t want to continue with the event and was really just kind of disinterested in the whole goings-on, as opposed to Rickson and Rorion really coming to blows, not physically mind you, just verbally, over the whole idea of Rickson stepping in and how much money he would make and that type of thing. ... Make no mistake, Rickson was the one at the very beginning. I don’t think there’s any kind of revisionist history that would tell me different.”

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