Friday, February 16, 2007

Royce Gracie Thrills MMA Fighters, Fans in Costa Rica

TAMBOR, Costa Rica – When Royce Gracie walks among a room of fighters, it’s like a king is present. He’s pointed to, whispered about, approached with requests for pictures and autographs.

Gracie, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, catapulted mixed martial arts from obscurity to the big time during the early 1990s. Along the way, he made a legion of followers who have practiced the methods invented by his father, Helio.

As a guest commentator for two upcoming BodogFight series, Gracie is on set in Tambor for three days of bouts. He’s been reacquainted with some of his disciples, as well as introduced to others, many of whom regard him with the same reverence that the basketball world has for Michael Jordan.

“I’m honored to be fighting in front of Royce Gracie,” said David Love, who credits the seven Gracie brothers for publishing their methods so fighters who can’t afford Jiu-Jitsu classes can teach themselves some skills. Like many fighters, Love was drawn to MMA after seeing a Royce Gracie fight.

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