The Ultimate Fighting Championship has decided to pay homage to the champion of their first ever tournament events with the release of a two-disc Ultimate Royce Gracie DVD set. Unlike current UFC shows, Gracie had to fight four times instead of just once. There were no weight classes or rules beyond no biting. Gracie was barely 170 lbs while a lot of his opponents were well over 200 and did not mind using punches to the groin to win.
Regardless of different styles and size, Gracie showed why the Gracie’s style of Brazilian jiu-jitsu can beat any man due to leverage and technique. Gracie dominated his opponents and won UFC 1 and 2 in extremely quick bouts. Gracie spent less than 10 minutes in the octagon to win the first championship.
Following his first tourney win, fighters started to realize they need to figure out a way to defend against this ground attack. Matt Serra, Lyoto Machida and Georges St-Pierre are just a few UFC veterans that express their appreciation and respect for how Gracie helped evolved mixed martial arts into what it has become today.
The documentary on disc one, which aired before on Spike TV, is an intriguing look at all of Gracie’s UFC encounters with many of the fights given in-depth analyst from Gracie and some of his opponents. Dan Severn’s belief that he thought Gracie wanted to quit at UFC 4 and Gracie laughs back, “That never crossed my mind,” gives the viewer a battle of opinions when it comes to UFC history. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Gracie’s bouts with Ken Shamrock as it is only Gracie and the former UFC founder Art Davie giving their belief that Shamrock was cocky and lived with that loss on his face ever since.
Gracie touches on some of his controversial issues; the impression that the Gracies are being too arrogant to everyone else in MMA and why Gracie deciding to forfeit his 90-minute marathon fight against Kazushi Sakuraba. However, there is no mention of Gracie testing positive for steroids following the Sakuraba rematch. While there is his rematch with Hidehiko Yoshida where Gracie tells Yoshida to “f**k off,” there is no details giving on why he is saying that except for the announcers stating the first fight was a disputed finish.
The first and second disc both contain Gracie’s full fights starting from UFC 1, to a few of his battles in Pride, and ending with his battle with Matt Hughes at UFC: 60. You will get to see the full 90-minute bout Gracie had against Sakuraba and Gracie’s first fight that night as well. Included in the bonus materials is Gracie’s induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.
For fans that have not seen the documentary it is a highly educational and action-packed ride through the life of the most popular Gracie in North America. Royce Gracie may not have been the best MMA specialist in his family, but the Gracies were able to show that no matter your size, power can always be defeated with proper training and preparation.
UFC: Ultimate Royce Gracie
Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada
Releases on May 10, 2011