Royce Gracie (14-2-3), a UFC Hall of Famer and the winner of the first five UFC shows, shared his thoughts on how the sport has developed.
“When [Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta] took over, they got together with the boxing commission and made it much bigger,” said Gracie. “I don’t really agree with the rules and the whole thing, but the rules are equal for both fighters. They turned the UFC into a dream for all the young kids. They wake up in the morning and just train now.”
In the eyes of Gracie, the fighters today are different from when the UFC first started.
“Back then it was more of style vs. style,” said Gracie. “Today is a fighter against a fighter. Everyone does standup, grapple [and] jiu-jitsu. So it’s whose setup a better strategy for the fight.”
Gracie also doesn’t see the sport going back to endless rounds because of TV time restraints and when asked his favorite career moment, he was unable to pick just one.
Currently, Gracie spends half the year at training seminars teaching jiu-jitsu and doesn’t know if he would return as an active competitor. He shot down the rumor that he requested a UFC fight in Brazil, but didn’t dismiss that he’ll never return.
“Never is a very strong word,” said Gracie. “I don’t have any plans right now.”
There have been no talks between the UFC and Gracie about him working an office job within the company.