EA Brings The First Ultimate Fighting Champion To EA Sports UFC

EA seems determined to embed as much history as possible into its very first attempt at a UFC game. First they brought Bruce Lee to the table, a man that was arguably a mixed-martial artist before mixed martial arts existed. Now EA has announced that Royce Gracie — the very first champion of UFC back when the UFC was a simple eight-man tournament — will be appearing as a playable character.

Royce Gracie's story is an interesting one. The very first UFC was partly organised by the Gracie family as a way to prove that the martial art they practiced — Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — was the most effective martial art in no holds barred combat. The very first UFC proved this. Attracting high level boxers, kickboxers and even a Sumo wrestler, Royce Gracie managed to cruise through the competition beating boxer Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau en route to winning the tournament.

But interestingly, Royce was not thought of as the strongest member of the Gracie family. In fact, the family chose Royce because, as a smaller fighter, the impact of him essentially destroying larger men way outside his weight class would cement to all outsiders the fact that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was the most effective fighting art. Royce weighed roughly 170 pounds and Gerard Gordeau, for example, was a heavyweight. But it took less than two minutes for Royce to force Gordeau to submit with a choke.

Royce would go on to win a further two UFC tournaments and cement himself as one of the founding fathers of MMA and the UFC.

Royce Gracie is set to appear as an unlockable character. Patient players will be able to unlock Gracie simply by completing EA Sports UFC on Pro difficulty or above, but if you pre-order the game at select retailers you can make him available from the start.


    The very first UFC was partly organised by the Gracie family as a way to prove that the martial art they practiced — Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — was the most effective martial art in no holds barred combat. The very first UFC proved this.

    I don't really see how anybody can "prove" that one particular martial art is the most effective compared to all the others. If somebody wins a tournament it means that particular individual was better than the other competing individuals on a given day, but I think it's impossible to extrapolate that out to make broad statements about the entirety of martial arts.

      He basically proved it as close as it can be proved I reckon.

      Every single MMA fighter is now well versed in Jiu Jitsu. They have to be, or they will be submitted quickly and easily.

      What's interesting now is that, since Jiu Jitsu is a given, absolutely everyone knows how to defend it -- so now striking is more important. I guess it's just evolution.

      But back then, when martial arts was more fragmented, BJJ was the most effective. Almost anyone interested in martial arts will tell you that I think.

        Actually, I think you'll find in circles outside of the MMA and BJJ circuit, there's quite a few who disagree.
        While BJJ is an excellent grappling system, with many important health benefits, it is at its very strongest in the ring designed by the Gracie family to promote the art that they teach, and the chain of schools that they run.
        The ring is soft, and bounces back putting striking arts, which rely on reasonably solid ground to be effective.
        It was because of this clever subtlety, and naming their own tourney 'Ultimate Fighting Championship' that lead to their widespread success and acclaim as a school.

        For example; The myth perpetuated by many schools is that the majority of street confrontations will end on the ground. This was a statistic taken from Police officers, whos training in confrontation strongly emphasises pushing the combatant to the ground, in order to handcuff them.

        On the street level, it wouldn't have quite the same effectiveness that it does in the specifically designed UFC ring.

          Yeah, this as well. In a real fight, when it's fairly unusual to be facing only one opponent (even the biggest idiot probably has at least one mate willing to pitch in), planning on going to the ground and tangling up with a single opponent is usually planning to have your head stomped on.

          Still a good skill to have, but it's not applicable to every situation.

          You know nothing Jon Snow! :) The Gracies have a looong history of full contact challenge fights. Its NO myth most fights do go to the ground. If two people are fighting and one guy is trained in grappling and wants the fight to go to the ground guess what happens....if one guy is getting lit up with punches and he can grab a hold of the person hitting them guess what happens. I have personally witnessed many many street fights with way more than halve of them hitting the ground at some point. But with the fights I'm talking about I am not counting king hits because I do not consider them fights.

        They carefully avoided having top level wrestlers in the first few tournaments, though. They essentially stacked the deck in their favour for the first few events.

          True but real fighters know that wrestlers are no joke. The first UFC's manly exposed the fugazy martial arts. Plus they didn't have the best Gracie fighting which was Rickson.

    Ya see, this is how you do pre-order/day-one extra characters right.

    Want this guy RIGHT NOW? Spend some dosh.

    Want this guy, but not right now? It's ok. Here's a barrier. It's not a financial barrier. You are able to get him without spending money. We will make it hard, but still, you can have him for free if you work hard.

    Far better than "Here's a character that you can only get if you pay money for it as a day-one DLC".

    I always kind of assumed Royce would be in it anyway.

    Rickson is the Gracie you want to be in it.

    I wish they'd show some game play/a preview. Doesn't give me any confidence for the final product by not showing it.

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