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Royce Gracie Reveals Why His Father Chose Him For The UFC 1 Fight

Royce Gracie Reveals Why His Father Chose Him For The UFC 1 Fight

Royce Gracie recently shed light on why his family selected him to fight in UFC 1, back in 1993.

And, well, the reason might surprise you…
Because it was trusted that Royce will not inflict serious harm to his opponents.

The Gracie spoke about it in a recent conversation with Joe Rogan:

I think my father knew I was gonna obey his orders. And his orders were: do not hurt your opponents.

Helio reportedly told him:

Don’t worry. They will never hit you.
They’re not gonna touch you.

Despite his mother’s contrasting desire to “see some blood”, Royce’s father insisted that the Gracies didn’t need to inflict severe injuries on opponents to validate the superiority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Royce further explained how his training looked like for UFC 1.

He went for long distance runs, endurance-based swims, mountain hikes, and other similar conditioning exercises.

For instance, at one point he covered 41 miles in a single running session and swam across Tampa Bay, which is a 3-hour endurance feat in cold water conditions.
He also tackled the challenging “Cactus to Clouds” hike, where he covered 21 miles and over 10,000 feet of elevation change.

Royce explains that these challenges helped him in developing mental and physical fortitude.