Pioneer Wing: Royce Gracie
Royce Gracie was the original UFC tournament champion from November 1993 and the man who single-handedly destroyed the Hollywood and dojo myths about what real fighting was. It is no exaggeration that Gracie’s sublime demonstrations of ground-fighting against much larger opponents did more to evolve martial arts in one night than anything in centuries. Gracie would underline his dominance over his era by returning to win the second and fourth UFC tournaments. Gracie’s records for the most consecutive UFC wins – 11 – and most submissions in the UFC – seven – still stand two decades later.