This morning I was walking down the jam-packed halls of the SHOT Show in Las Vegas and a very fit, tough looking man walks by.
He looked familiar.
I turn around and realized it was Royce Gracie.
THE Royce Gracie-MMA and UFC legend and I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Pack-N-Heat booth where later in the day he was doing a signing.
One of the coolest things about the SHOT Show is you get to meet some amazing people from many walks of life.
If you don’t know who he is, then check out some of his bio from royegracie.tv
Royce’s reputable career as a fighter began in 1993 after defeating three opponents in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in Denver, Colorado. His brother Rorion came up with this innovative challenge as a way to show Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Discipline after discipline was defeated by the slight 6’1”, 180 pound Royce Gracie. The viewers were in awe.
His opponents consistently outweighed him by more than 50 pounds. He went on to win 3 UFC titles and today is the only man in the history of no holds barred matches to successfully defeat four opponents in one night. After leaving the UFC Royce went on to compete in MMA events in Japan and is a huge icon in this country.
Royce holds the record for the longest MMA match in history: 90 minutes against Japanese superstar Kazushi Sakuraba in PRIDE Grand PRIX 2000. He also showed total domination of the Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Hidehiko Yoshida. His largest opponent was Sumo Grand Champion Akebono, 6′ 8″ 486lbs. Royce vs. Akebono was the main event of K-1 Premium Dynamite New Years Eve show on New Year’s Eve in 2004. Royce defeated the giant in just 2min and 13sec with a shoulder lock. Royce’s continued success has opened the eyes of many disbelievers to the importance of leverage and technique in grappling.
In November of 2003, Royce Gracie was the first fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame along with fellow UFC veteran Ken Shamrock. Since then Royce’s face has has been seen on countless martial arts magazines such as Black Belt, Inside MMA and Tapout. He has also been featured in Men’s Health and Fitness and GQ and continues to give magazine and radio interviews. His recognition spans the globe to include fans on most every continent. In 2014 Royce was named one of the 50 Greatest Athletes in the World by Sports Illustrated.
Today Royce is privileged to spread the techniques perfected by his father all over the world. Throughout his busy fighting career Royce has maintained a rigorous travel schedule of seminars and classes. He currently oversees more than 55 US and international Royce Gracie Jiu-jitsu Networks. The techniques of Gracie Jiiu-jitsu have become mainstream in most martial arts dojos. Fighters everywhere are racing to learn and implement this jiu-jitsu in their training regimen.