Most of us will have heard the story that Rorion Gracie came up with idea and co-founded the UFC way back in 1993 in order to introduce the general public to jiu-jitsu. His younger brother Royce Gracie then went on to win over bigger opponents and quickly turned the no holds barred competition into a sensation.
The lack of rules and time limits ultimately became an issue and Rorion decided to sell his share to Bob Meyrowitz after UFC 4 when Royce Gracie vs Dan Severn ran so long the fans couldn’t watch the ending live causing one of the biggest gaffes in pay-per-view.
Now according to Big John McCarthy who was part of UFC since day 1, Rorion Gracie did not come up with the idea of the UFC, it was co-founder Art Davie:
Big John was a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience and when asked if Rorion came up with the idea, Big John stated:
“Negative… Art Davie went to Rorion because he needed validity. He needed somebody to give actual value and some credence to what he was trying to do.”
“That’s where I look at Rorian was brilliant because he listened to what Art said. It was Art’s idea to have a bunch of guys fight.”
So how much did Art Davie own of the UFC?
According to Big John he owned 25 percent.
You can listen to the interview here:
Rorion Gracie goes over the humble beginnings of the UFC:
“After the issues with UFC 4, my associates decided to implement time limit, rules, and weight classes, to plan the event for the TV. I understood that. Yet, I always saw the UFC as a real fight being televised, and they saw it as a TV show about fighting. I wasn’t interested in being part of the show if they modified the original concept of comparing styles, it became a comparison of athletes. The winner was no longer necessarily the better style, but often by judges outside. It was no longer the vision I had, so I do not regret walking way.”
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