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UFC 1: Royce Gracie wins first Ultimate Fighting event

The UFC hosted its first event on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. It looked far different then, with no weight classes, very few rules and one contestant wearing one boxing glove.

It wasn't even known as "UFC 1" then. Rather, the brainchild of Rorion Gracie, Art Davie and Campbell McLaren, was known simply as "The Ultimate Fighting Championship."

Royce Gracie, the lesser known Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist in the Gracie family, won the eight-man, one-night tournament.

Jiu-Jitsu black belt Royce Gracie, right, kicks at
Photo Credit: Markus Boesch

Jiu-Jitsu black belt Royce Gracie, right, kicks at cruiserweight boxer Art Jimmerson during a first-round match at UFC 1 in Denver, Colorado, on Nov. 12, 1993. Jimmerson wore one glove because he didn't want to injure his hand throwing jab.

Zane Frazier, foreground, lands a left to the
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Zane Frazier, foreground, lands a left to the chin of Kevin Rosier in a first-round bout at UFC 1 on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. Rosier won by TKO at the 4:20 mark.

Kickboxer Patrick Smith, right, tries to ward off
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Kickboxer Patrick Smith, right, tries to ward off a leglock from Ken Shamrock during their first-round bout at UFC 1on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. Shamrock won by submission in 1:49 to advance to the semifinals of the eight-man, one-night tournament.

Royce Gracie, bottom, submitted Ken Shamrock in the
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Royce Gracie, bottom, submitted Ken Shamrock in the semifinals at UFC 1 on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Royce Gracie, left, submitted Ken Shamrock in 57
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Royce Gracie, left, submitted Ken Shamrock in 57 seconds in the semifinals at UFC 1 on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Karate champion Gerard Gordeau from the Netherlands, right,
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Karate champion Gerard Gordeau from the Netherlands, right, prepares to strike American kickboxer Kevin Rosier after knocking him down at UFC 1. Gordeau won the semifinal bout via TKO in 59 seconds at the first Ultimate Fighting Championships on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Royce Gracie, right, beat Gerard Gordeau via submission
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Royce Gracie, right, beat Gerard Gordeau via submission to win the tournament at UFC 1 on Nov. 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Royce Gracie is lifted by members of his
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Royce Gracie is lifted by members of his corner after beating Gerard Gordeau to win the eight-man tournament at UFC 1 on Nov. 12, 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Royce Gracie receives a $50,000 check after becoming
Photo Credit: Markus Boesch

Royce Gracie receives a $50,000 check after becoming "The Ultimate Fighter" by defeating Gerard Gordeau via submission in 1:40 in the final round of the UFC 1 on Nov. 12, 1993, in Denver, Colorado.

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