MMA  > General MMA  > Royce Gracie: I Give Them The Tools, The Rest Is Up To Them
July 29, 2009, 11:52 PM
For those interested in the origins and history of modern mixed martial arts (MMA), the Gracie name is synonymous with those beginnings. One name in particular goes hand-in-hand with the early days of what has become the premiere organization, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the immediate growth and expansion of the sport thereafter. That name is Royce Gracie. MMA Spot recently spoke with MMA's elder statesmen and elicited his thoughts on a variety of topics including the state of the sport today, his role in its history, and the future of fighting.

* * *

When speaking about his full and extraordinary career, Gracie expressed almost complete contentment. Regarding what he would change, he commented, "Nothing, don't regret the past, learn from it; and don't foresee the future, just take it one day at a time, you live longer."

* * *

Does the opportunity to teach others compare to the actual experience of fighting against an opponent; does that desire to prove oneself in physical combat merely dissipate? The answer, one way or another, doesn't appear to be that simple, "I am comfortable with what I have done as a fighter, and I am fine with what I am doing as an instructor, but I know where the urge to fight lives, so if I need it, I can always call it out. Lets put it that way," Gracie stated, not ruling out the possibility of fighting again.

Age, admittedly, isn't the factor that would determine his return. In terms of his chances at competing at a high-level at this point in his career, ?? la Randy Couture, and a few others, "If I didn't [know I could], I wouldn't do it," Gracie explained.

Rather, the attraction to mixed martial arts, and the essence of the competition presented in their practice, remains in the mental component and the intensely personal challenge one faces prior to the sound of the opening bell. Which fight has been his most difficult? Gracie offered, "The fight inside my head, the opponent that has 6 heads and 12 arms that I have to fight before I step in the ring."

* * *

In what may surprise some, Gracie also gives a large part of the credit for the growth and success of MMA to Dana White and the UFC. "I think UFC is doing great, they are really driving the sport and its popularity. Dana White, what can I say, he is an honest in your face, upfront guy, but he can back it up. Look at what he has done with the UFC. You don't have to like the guy, though I do, but you have to give him respect. If it was not for his vision and the Fertitta brothers, MMA would not be as popular as it is today and maybe some of the other shows that are able to make a living today would not be around either. Strikeforce....[I] like the show, great fights they put on, nice guys too. I know Scott, very nice guy, I wish them all the best."

Full article: http://mmaspot.net/interviews.php?id=32

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