Royce Gracie was a man ahead of his time.
Gracie burst on the scene in 1993 at the first Ultimate Fighting Championship event, where he introduced the combat sports world to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submitted three opponents—Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau—in less than five minutes combined to win a 16-man openweight tournament at UFC 1. Gracie won his first 11 bouts, all of them finishes, and blurred the lines between myth and man. On Nov. 21, 2003, he became the first fighter inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Gracie’s impact on the sport was lasting and undeniable.
Now more than four years removed from Gracie’s final appearance in the cage, here are some of the numbers that came to define him:
53: Years of age. Gracie was born on Dec. 12, 1966 in Rio de Janeiro.
3: Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments won, most all-time. Gracie emerged victorious at UFC 1, UFC 2 and UFC 4.
195: Victories between the 10 men Gracie defeated on his way to winning three UFC tournaments, 101 of which belong to Dan Severn.
5: UFC bouts in which Gracie was not credited with landing a single significant strike. He won all five of them, defeating Shamrock, Severn, Jimmerson, Jason DeLucia and Remco Pardoel.
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90: Minutes with Kazushi Sakuraba in the longest match in Pride Fighting Championships history. The two legends went at it for six 15-minute rounds in the 2000 Pride openweight grand prix quarterfinals before 38,429 fans at the Tokyo Dome. Gracie’s corner threw in the towel after the sixth round, as he suffered the first of his two career defeats.
11: Wins by submission, accounting for 73 percent of his career total. Gracie recorded three wins by rear-naked choke, three by armbar, two by lapel choke, one by triangle choke, one by smother choke and one by omoplata.
4: Promotions in which Gracie competed as a professional mixed martial artist. He went 11-1-1 in the UFC, 2-0-1 in K-1, 1-1-1 in Pride and 1-0 in Bellator MMA.
2: Decision victories on his resume. Gracie went the distance five times in his career and went 2-0-3 in those bouts, with wins over Sakuraba and Nobuhiko Takada.
1: Unavenged loss on his ledger. Gracie on May 27, 2006 succumbed to first-round punches from Matt Hughes at UFC 60 in what was his only encounter with the former welterweight champion.
3,184: Days between fights, representing the longest period of inactivity in Gracie’s career. His rematch with Sakuraba took place on June 2, 2007, and he did not fight again until he faced Shamrock for a third time at Bellator 149 on Feb. 19, 2016.
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