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Jon Fitch is about to tie Royce’s win streak

What’s more impressive than the fact that Jon Fitch is about to tie Royce Gracie’s UFC winning streak? The fact that he did it in the modern age where half his opponents weren’t out of shape McDojo losers who had never grappled in their lives. Although there’s a bit of an asterisks beside Royce’s 8-win streak … some claim it should be 11:

Royce Gracie holds the current record for most consecutive wins in the UFC.   Gracie accomplished his eight victories over the course of the first three UFC tournaments.   After defeating Kimo Leopoldo in the opening round of the UFC 3 tournament, Royce was not able to continue fighting.   Instead of withdrawing from the tournament between bouts, Gracie entered the Octagon to face Harold Howard in the semi-final — only to have his corner throw in the towel as soon as the bout began.

MMA pundits disagree on whether to count “the fight that wasn’t” as a loss on Gracie’s record.   Sherdog.com lists it as a loss; so does UFC.com.   FCFighter.com shows this bout as a No Contest.   UFC lore has it that Royce chose to enter the Octagon and throw in the towel instead of quitting between bouts so that he would receive the “show money” for the second fight.   Had he skipped that fight completely, he would have extended his streak to eleven consecutive wins following his performance in the UFC 4 tournament – a record not likely to be disputed for a long time to come.

It’s a tricky call. Do you go with the spirit of the situation or the literal truth? If Royce hadn’t stepped into the Octagon to collect a paycheck, then none of this would be getting debated at all. Of course, the Gracies are famous for having 1001 excuses why all the losses on their records shouldn’t count. Truth is he DID get into the ring and his corner DID throw in the towel. Regardless of mitigating circumstances, that’s a fucking loss.

  • jd

    Yep, thats a loss. End of discussion.

  • http://www.swingerads.com/sa/vp.cgi?profile=FancyKat Atom

    Not a loss IMO. Did the opening bell ever ring? BJM ever utter his trademark?

    Walking to the ring does not a fight make.

  • http://www.swingerads.com/sa/vp.cgi?profile=FancyKat Atom

    (or did those things happen? I haven’t seen it) I think it depends on if the clock was ever started.

  • Captain

    I am a little more impressed with Royce subbing multiple fighters (some of whom much bigger than him) in one night tournaments under NHB rules (or is that no rules) than I am with Fitch being able to out-wrestle people that our for the most part smaller than him.

  • http://www.edenmachine.com EdenMachine

    “Truth is he DID get into the ring and his corner DID throw in the towel. Regardless of mitigating circumstances, that’s a fucking loss.”

    And of course the reason they did that is because his ass wasn’t going to win even if he DID get in the ring. Royce of then couldn’t beat Fitch of today. MMA has just progressed way too much – albeit, thanks to Royce but still i think John should get credit for the tied record.

  • pauli

    under the circumstances, i’m more willing to define that loss as a work than a no contest.

  • http://www.mmacalifornia.net Erin

    I’ve always interpreted “throwing in the towel” as “our guy quits”. If you quit, you loose. Therefore, it’s a loss.

  • dragomort

    He lost due to intimidation upon seeing the wife-beater with mullet stare down from Howard. Here’s an example, just replace Howard with Walker and the bear with Royce: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2XUgE6g7XU

  • http://insidefights.insidepulse.com/author/mwnichol/ Mike_N

    Royce’s performances at the first couple of UFCs were basically living, breathing billboards for what BJJ is all about: no matter what your size is, technique trumps raw strength. Of course, once the bigger guys started learning technique (as they did once they saw Royce leaving a trail of bodies in his path), then Royce lost his competitive edge, since he couldn’t really strike or wrestle particularly well. But as Puffy would say, that’s neither here nor there.

    If you’re in a tournament and you forfeit a match, you lost. End of story.

  • frickshun

    That pic is actually the last tourney he competed in. He won & the other 3 were his competitors.

  • Beau

    By the same token Fedor has a loss to a shitty japanese guy.

  • Zane

    After Silva dismantles Hendo, that would make 6. I think he will get to at least ten, because after Hendo there are some great fighters, but none that will be the spider.

  • http://www.swingerads.com/sa/vp.cgi?profile=FancyKat Atom

    you can’t lose a fight that you never fought!

    Who cares if it was part of a tournament? Filho doesn’t have a loss on his record for the PRIDE tournament. At Bushido 13, he defeated Misaki, couldn’t continue in the tournament, so Misaki got to fight again and won. Its a shitty situation, but its the same thing in my eyes.

    If that was the only fight Royce had ever “lost”, I think most people would still claim he was undefeated. Fedor’s loss came in the ring, with the clock running, after punches, (and a possible illegal elbow) were thrown. Completely different.

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