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Royce Gracie is a mythical figure in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, a ferocious practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu who dominated the early years of the UFC. With his innovative blend of grappling and ground-fighting, Gracie claimed the title at UFC 1, UFC 2, and UFC 4. At UFC 5, held in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 7th, 1995, Gracie fought in arguably the most famous MMA bout in the sport’s history, battling Ken Shamrock in a contest billed simply as the “Superfight”. Gracie faced the American battler, who was billed as “The Most Dangerous Man in the World”, for a second time after defeating him at UFC 1. The fight at UFC 5 was as highly anticipated as the “Fight of the Century” in 1971, and both fighters delivered on the historic bout’s promise.

Foregoing rounds, the Superfight simply held a 30 minute time limit, and was fought without judges. Gracie and the heavier Shamrock clattered each other with blows for the entire 30 minutes allotted, and despite a melon-sized welt inflicted on Gracie’s forehead by Shamrock, neither fighter scored a decisive victory. Art Davie, the promoter of the event and a foundational figure in the UFC, harangued and screamed at the referees to extend the fight, hoping that his monumental event would be granted the climactic finish it so richly deserved. As such, ref reluctantly extended the bone-crunching fight an extra five minutes. Gracie and Shamrock continued their titanic stalemate, and finally, after 36 minutes and six seconds, the fight was declared a controversial draw. Each fighter’s camp believe their man should have won, and the two entourages nearly came to blows at ringside. This was Gracie’s final fight in the UFC until 2006, and in 2016 Gracie finally earned his revenge against Shamrock with a TKO victory over his archrival in Bellator 149.

Offered here is the belt intended to go to the winner of UFC 5. It was present at ringside for the fight, but due to the end result of the bout it was never awarded to either fighter and returned to Art Davie's possession. The belt measures approximately 50 inches long, weighs approximately 6 lbs, and features a large 10 x 10 inch gold crest on the center. “The Ultimate Fighting Championship V” and “Superfight Champion” is etched in high relief on the crest. Flanking the large crest are International Fighting Championship crests and “U.F.C. W.O.W. Promotions, Inc.” crests. One of each is present on each side of the belt. A crest from Joe Marshall, the manufacturer of the belt, is located on the left strap. The back of the belt features a wood block for mounting purposes.

Also included in this lot is a collection of documents and negotiations pertaining to Royce Gracie’s involvement in UFC 1. Included is a copy of his Physician’s Examination from October 27th, 1993 signed by Gracie, his manager, and the physician who performed the examination. It was at UFC 1 that Gracie introduced the world to the devastating physicality and grace of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, punishing Art Jimmerson, Shamrock, and Gerard Gordeau to win UFC’s inaugural championship. As the Ultimate Fighting Championship approaches its 25th anniversary in 2018, Gracie remains one of the figures central to its explosion in popularity and prominence in the world of mixed martial arts.

Other spectacular documents fundamental to the history of UFC that are included in this lot are a copy of Gracie’s hematology laboratory report. from before UFC 1, a copy of his fighter’s application, a signed letter from the Federação de Jiu-Jitsu do Estado do Rio de Janeiro acknowledging Gracie as the heavyweight Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, a copy of the “Agenda for Fighter’s Meeting” dated to November 11th, 1993 signed by Gracie, and his signed, nine-page contract from UFC 1. This collection of documents is a true treasure trove for the enterprising mixed martial arts aficionado, and it includes many rare and early Gracie signatures. The belt comes with a LOA from Art Davie, the creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the promoter of the Superfight and there is also a LOA from JSA (z76360) for Gracie's signature.

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