Tuesday marks the 51st birthday of jiu jitsu legend Royce Gracie, one of the pioneers of mixed martial arts.
Gracie had one of the most revolutionary and iconic careers in the sport, beginning with his unlikely victory as an undersized combatant at UFC 1 in Denver, Colorado in 1993. Gracie would go on to begin his career with a 12-0-1 record, while becoming the first and only three-time tournament champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship history.
The Gracie Jiu Jitsu specialist is widely regarded as one of the most influential fighters in the history of the UFC and a man that many fighters continue to look up to today.
Currently, Gracie is serving as an ambassador for Bellator MMA after returning to face Ken Shamrock in a trilogy fight at Bellator 149 in Feb. 2016.
In honor of Gracie’s 51st birthday, let’s look back at some of his most legendary and iconic fights inside of the cage and ring.