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The first star of the UFC believes there's no place for women in MMA

Royce Gracie: “I personally don’t think it’s a sport for women.”

Women competing in MMA makes Royce Gracie unhappy.
Women competing in MMA makes Royce Gracie unhappy.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE PRESENCE OF women in mixed martial arts has grown massively since the Ultimate Fighting Championship introduced two divisions for female athletes, but the UFC’s first ever star isn’t in favour of it.

Royce Gracie is regarded by many as the most influential figure in modern MMA. Now aged 48, Gracie was the tournament winner at three of the UFC’s first four events back in the early 1990s.

Gracie, whose father Helio is credited as one of the founders of modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu, last fought in the UFC in 2006 when he was defeated — for only the second time in his MMA career — by Matt Hughes.

The UFC legend was interviewed by Sherdog today, and when asked about the role of women in MMA — in particular UFC champion Ronda Rousey — he had this to say:

“She [Rousey] is beautiful, she is good-looking, so it’s good they show that. But I personally don’t like females fighting. My nieces, I have a couple of nieces, have already asked me: hey, I want to fight, uncle. I was like, sure, go ahead, it’s a free world, you can do whatever you want… but I personally don’t think it’s a sport for women.”

Sorry, Royce, but the fact that the biggest star in the sport today is a female would suggest otherwise.

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Paul Dollery

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