You can't talk about the Ultimate Fighting Championship or the growth of mixed martial arts without discussing the impact of Royce Gracie. Widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the UFC, Gracie left his mark 20 years ago when he fought and defeated three different opponents on UFC 1. Now, at 46, Royce is no longer competing and instead, he's delved into the world of teaching his family's own variation on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu called Gracie Jiu Jitsu to the future generation of fighters, as well as helping his nephew develop an organization called Metamoris.
Tomorrow, June 9, Royce and the legendary Gracie family will hold Metamoris II, an all-submission competition, at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion (7 P.M. ET or pay per view stream at Metamoris.com for $19.95).
Before the big night, we got on the phone with Royce to discuss everything from what makes Metamoris different from the UFC, the qualities that go into being a complete fighter and the history of the Gracie family.
Interview by Jose Martinez (@ZayMarty)
Can you give us a quick background on Metamoris?
Most fights out there are based on scoring points and the best fighter doesn't win all the time. With Metamoris, there are no points and it's a 20-minute match with submissions only. This time, we have three referees to decide from their point-of-view who is the best fighter of the night because most martial arts were made to defend themselves in a street fight situation, not to score points.
What made you want to create this event?
To take out the points system. If someone were to pick a fight with you on the streets, you're not going out there to score points. You're out there to submit your opponent or knock him out.
If someone were to pick a fight with you on the streets, you're not going out there to score points.
Where do you see Metamoris going in the future?
We've talked about it and we're thinking about doing four events a year. We just started, so we're still trying things out, changing things here and there.
You mentioned 20-minute matches. Is that straight or broken down into rounds?
It's 20 minutes straight with no breaks and the best man will win. Both fighters are trying to subdue each other. If they're unable to, that's why we have the referees to decide. Sometimes, one person stays on top, controls the fight but there isn't even an attempt at a submission. Then the other opponent stays on the bottom, looks like he's losing but he's trying to finish the fight and catch his opponent with a submission. Four out of five times, in my eyes, the latter guy actually tried to win.