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 â€” 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.