UFC 1 competitors face off at Bellator 178
Royce Gracie and Art Jimmerson met inside the UFC octagon 23 years, 5 months, and 9 days ago at the very first Ultimate Fighting Championship event.
Jimmerson, a boxer, chose to wear one glove into the cage, not knowing that to this day he would aptly be nicknamed ‘One Glove’ by mixed martial arts fans.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Gracie took the fight to the canvas and the fight was over in just 2:18 seconds. At the moment neither man knew what would become of their careers or the UFC. The sport was very different back then. The rules were not what they are today and the event was not as big of a spectacle, but that was because it was new, they were just getting things off the ground.
Despite the two men stepping into the octagon opposite one another that fateful night November 12, 1993, Gracie and Jimmerson never had a proper faceoff.
That is until tonight.
Pioneers of the sport, Gracie and Jimmerson, happened to bump into one another tonight, April 21, 2017, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut for Bellator 178.
Now they’ve seen each other at public appearances before, but tonight was their first ever actual faceoff. A.J. Hiller of MMA Signatures in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania was at the Bellator event, sponsoring several fighters on the card. He brought Jimmerson, who has been instructing at Hiller’s MMA & BJJ Academy, with him and squared the two former foes, now friends off.