On March 11th, 1994, my father and I tuned in for UFC 2 on pay per view. I was only 14 years old at the time. Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock met in the second round of the tournament. I remember it like it was yesterday. Ken was the only other grappler in the tournament and after watching the first round of the tournament, it was apparent that if you didn’t know submissions or at least how to defend yourself on the ground, it was going to be a short night.
Ken looked massive compared to Royce. I wasn’t old enough to bet but, if I had been, my money would have been on Ken. As everyone knows, Royce went on to submit Ken by choke.
If you haven’t seen the fight, shame on you lol.
Here’s the video of their first fight:
The two then went back and forth in negotiations to fight a second time. That second fight happened in UFC 5 (April 7th, 1995). The fight was billed a Super Fight.
The two fought for over 35 minutes. Back then, there were no five minute rounds. You fought, until someone was declared the victor.
Early in the fight, Ken rocked Royce with a hard punch and stunned him. To be honest, the fight was pretty uneventful because after that, neither actually committed to their attack.
Thus, the fight was declared a draw.
Here’s the second fight:
Fast forward more than 20 years later, the two will face each other again in Bellator 149 on February 19th, 2016. Sure, they are both way past their prime now and many mma noobs wont fully be able to appreciate this fight but, I for one, can’t wait!
Ken will be 52 and Royce will be 49 when they fight in 2016. Once thing I am interested in seeing is just how much of Ken’s ability can be contributed to him being physical specimen when we was younger? Even as the body ages, technique stays with you.
For that reason, this time around, my money is on Royce.