The “Gracie UFC Conspiracy”…fact or fiction…YOU DECIDE!

First, watch the video below. In what will no doubt eventually be a provocative interview, Bill “superfoot” Wallace spoke with Jesse Enkamp about his perspective and experiences as a commentator at the original UFC 1 Show. The history, turbulence and exceptional events surrounding the UFC in its early days are well known and often lamented. I would like to say that any part of this interview were a surprise to me but it was not. Any person with an eye for detail would see that there were a few procedural discrepancies that were immediately evident.

I can recall sitting and watching the event live with my grandfather and as ignorant as he was on the entire show, he immediately noted how Royce was allowed to wear a Gi while nobody else was. The slant was then and is now, very obvious. Why wouldnt it be slanted toward bjj? This was the Gracie’s coming out party and they were there to showcase their art. Would it make any sense at all for them to risk the entire farm on a losing performance at their own event?The fallout would be disastrous. Admittedly, i am the farthest from having a neutral perspective. As a black belt Jiu Jitsu practitioner, i am clearly biased toward my art and i have tremendous pride in the history of it. However, i certainly feel that i am capable of providing a reasonable perspective on this matter. Wallace makes several points in the interivew. The first being that he was accompanied by a prompter that took the physical form of a Gracie associate sitting beside him while he was commentating. Is this really that unreasonable? Lets look at this rationally. From the perspective of a Gracie, would you want someone who had no idea what your art was about or what specific techniques were called, butchering your art at its debut? I highly doubt it. Every media outlet on the air makes use of teleprompters. Why was this such a big deal to Superfoot? I’m perplexed. He goes on to state that Rorion contacts him as well as Jim Brown to commentate. I found this interesting. Think about the brilliance in that particular move. Rorion contracts a well known martial artist and one of the most notable football figures in existence to give a voice to the event. Superfoot would obviously be able to provide technical perspectives while Jim Brown’s unmistakable voice would provide a completely different stamp of approval. Superfoot then indicates that the show turned out to be a two hour advertisement for gracie jiu jitsu. This part i will agree with. Heres why! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu had already undergone its rite of passage and trial by fire both in the streets of brazil and in the underground. A little known rivalry between the Gracie’s and a faction known as the “Luta Livre” resulted in about as many serious confrontations as the civil war had battles, the bulk of which playing out in the favor of the Gracie’s. The percentages of success both for and against the effectiveness and relative efficacy of BJJ can be argued to no end but the fact that the Gracies had tested their art and prowess against arts, sports and disciplines world wide simply cannot. Im assuming the fact that Rolls, Rickson and many of the other Gracies and Machados exploits around the globe at events including but not limited to Vale tudo, Sambo, Wrestling, Kickboxing as well as the countless other style versus style matchups have gone forgotten? Yeah, Nah! This art was proven long before it reached the eyes of the ignorant in the U.S. in the form of the UFC, mine and my grandfathers included. Who cares if it was slanted to the Gracie’s interest. Their money funded the show! The show was nothing more than a formality aimed at one thing. Conquest!  Of course it was slanted. Its only goal was to condense its dominance, effectiveness, exploits and accomplishments to a world of ignorance in a mere two hours. You say conspiracy, i say brilliant. Proof of this would be in Rorion’s act of selling the UFC in 1995 after it was grossing over 120k pay per views and having been listed in Forbes as the “most successful pay per view franchise in history”. All this done in only four short shows? Come on now Superfoot! A business man with half or even no brain would see the idea was a winner. What kind of idiot would sell a bottomless gold mine? Rorion was and is widely regarded as the most tenacious and successful business mind in the family and yet he sold in 1995 even considering the above facts. Why? Because….the mission was accomplished. Plain and simple!

 

Coy Clements