Rorion Gracie is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) grandmaster and entrepreneur who is best known as the co-founder of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company in the world. Gracie was born on January 10, 1952, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is the eldest son of BJJ founder Helio Gracie.
Growing up, Gracie trained in BJJ under his father and became a black belt at the age of 22. In the 1970s, he moved to the United States to promote BJJ and opened the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in California in 1989.
In 1993, Gracie and his business partner, Art Davie, co-founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC was a new concept in combat sports, combining various martial arts disciplines in a tournament-style competition. The first UFC event took place in Denver, Colorado, on November 12, 1993, and was a huge success, attracting over 7,800 spectators and millions of viewers on pay-per-view.
Despite his success with the UFC, Gracie left the company in 1995 after a falling out with the other owners. He continued to teach BJJ at his academy and to promote the Gracie family’s martial arts legacy.
Gracie’s personal wealth is not publicly known, but he is believed to have made a significant amount of money from his involvement with the UFC and his career as a martial artist and instructor. In addition to his work with the UFC and his academy, Gracie has written several books about BJJ and martial arts, including “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu: The Master Text” and “The Gracie Diet.”
Overall, Rorion Gracie’s legacy is one of innovation and entrepreneurship. His vision for the UFC helped to revolutionize the world of combat sports, and his contributions to the development and promotion of BJJ have been significant. He continues to be a respected figure in the martial arts community, and his influence can be seen in the ongoing popularity of the UFC and MMA.
Here is a timeline of significant events in the life and career of Rorion Gracie:
- 1952: Rorion Gracie is born on January 10 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- 1972: Gracie earns his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) at the age of 22.
- 1978: Gracie moves to the United States to promote BJJ and begins teaching at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in California.
- 1989: Gracie opens the first official Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in California.
- 1993: Gracie co-founds the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with Art Davie and serves as the company’s first matchmaker.
- 1993: The first UFC event takes place on November 12 in Denver, Colorado, and is won by Gracie’s younger brother Royce.
- 1995: Gracie leaves the UFC after a falling out with the other owners.
- 2003: Gracie is inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.
- 2009: Gracie is awarded a 9th degree red belt in BJJ by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
- 2017: Gracie publishes his autobiography, “The Lion’s Way: Learning Plus Character Equals Success.”
- Present: Gracie continues to teach and promote BJJ and is a respected figure in the martial arts community.
5 Interesting Facts about Rorion Gracie:
- Rorion Gracie is the eldest son of Helio Gracie, the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- He co-founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with Art Davie in 1993.
- Gracie has a ninth-degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is the highest rank possible in the martial art.
- He has authored several books on BJJ and martial arts, including “The Gracie Diet” and “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu: The Master Text.”
- Gracie is a vegetarian and has been following the Gracie Diet since he was a child.
5 Quotes from Rorion Gracie:
- “You don’t have to be strong, fast or even very athletic to become proficient in jiu-jitsu. All you need is a willingness to learn, and the ability to practice and train consistently.”
- “Martial arts is not about fighting, it’s about personal development and self-improvement.”
- “The ultimate goal of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not to win a tournament, but to become a better person.”
- “The Gracie Diet is not a weight-loss diet, it’s a lifestyle diet. It’s about eating healthy foods in the right combinations and quantities to achieve optimal health and vitality.”
- “The UFC was created to showcase the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and to prove that size and strength are not the most important factors in a fight.”