May 30, 2013

Know Your Roots~ UFC 1 November 12, 1993: Royce Gracie defeats Art Jimmerson

UFC 1 on November 12, 1993: Royce Gracie defeats Art Jimmerson

At UFC 1, Art Jimmerson was a boxer who had in his career competed at super middleweight, light heavyweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight and even was ranked in the top 10 by the IBF. As an amateur, Jimmerson was the 1983 National Golden Gloves Middleweight champion.

On November 12, 1993, Jimmerson competed at the very first UFC competition against Royce Gracie. Jimmerson entered the cage wearing only one boxing glove, earning the nickname Art ‘One Glove’ Jimmerson in the process.  Art planned on punching Royce so many times that he didn’t want to get his jab hand hurt, so Art wore a boxing glove in the match on his left hand in order to protect it against breaking. Nowadays, we laugh when we think of boxer Art Jimmerson entering the UFC Octagon against Royce with a single glove on. Remember however that at that time it was style versus style and none of the fighters new what to expect from their opponents!  The bottom line is that Jimmerson had nothing to judge his attire his against.

The fight was pretty straight forward.  Gracie threw several Pisaos to keep Jimmerson at bay and to get Art thinking about something other than the takedown. Once Royce had Art distracted he shot a quick double leg landing him in top side cross mount.  From there Royce simply took the mount, dropped his hooks, and controlled his opponent. Then, in a nutshell, Jimmerson was so confused, disoriented, and fearful that he tapped. You can’t blame him; few had any idea of what Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was!

For most people this was the first time ever seeing a boxing vs. grappling match up. What’s more, it was a future UFC legend’s first Octagon win. Though the fight may lack the “highlight reel” luster of other fights you better believe that a skinny, 170 pound guy defeating a skilled boxer with a 20 pound weight advantage was influential in changing modern era martial arts!