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UnderGround Forums >> Royce Gracie named #44 athlete of all time


1/9/14 11:17 PM
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Royce Gracie was selected to represent his family's version of Jiu-Jitsu in the first few UFCs because he looked far less athletic than for example his brother Rickson. Rickson too would have beaten everyone at UFC 1, but it would not have had the same effect on the world.

When a muscular ferocious fighter wins, the assumption is that he won because he he was ferocious and muscular. When the 170 lb Royce dominated UFC 1, it was clear that there was something world changing in his technique.

It was thus ironic that Royce was selected as one of  the top 50 greatest athletes of all time. Royce came in at #44, in a field that included Roger Federer, Mia Hamm, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Serena Williams, and Tiger Woods.

However, there is more to being a great athlete than being athletic. There is leadership, and heart and courage, and seeing the future and then making it, and in all these regards, Royce is an extraordinary choice.

The list was generated by a panel of experts organized by Beckett Media. The 50 Greatest Athletes of All Time is available online and on newsstands through mid-January, nationwide and in Canada, at Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, CVS, supermarkets, airports and wherever sports magazines are sold.

"I am honored to make sports illustrated top 50 athletes of all time list," sair Royce. "I don't get excited about many things but this is something that humbles me."

Read entire article...


1/10/14 12:19 AM
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Pessimist_Pete
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No. He is 45 in my opinion Phone Post 3.0
1/10/14 12:21 AM
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EatonBeever
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Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.

1/10/14 12:28 AM
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brody3316
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Rickson by armbar Phone Post 3.0
1/10/14 12:32 AM
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Kirik
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Edited: 01/10/14 12:33 AM
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EatonBeever - 

Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.

 

Ali is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years. Jordan was a basketball player who moved a mountain of sneakers. And purely from an athletic point of view, setting aside what "great" means, Jordan's athletic skills only worked in one sport. Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, and some others were far better all around athletes. And for dominating a single sport, Gretzky is without peer.

 

So it is complex. But if you want to make it is simple, it's Ali :-)

1/10/14 2:34 AM
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rkm456
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Can't believe that Beckett spelled Renzo's name wrong. Just kidding this is pretty awesome.
1/10/14 2:37 AM
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rkm456
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Edited: 01/10/14 2:44 AM
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<blockquote>Kirik - <blockquote>
EatonBeever - 
<p>
Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
 </p>
<p>
Ali is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years. Jordan was a basketball player who moved a mountain of sneakers. And purely from an athletic point of view, setting aside what "great" means, Jordan's athletic skills only worked in one sport. Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, and some others were far better all around athletes. And for dominating a single sport, Gretzky is without peer.</p>
<p>
 </p>
<p>
So it is complex. But if you want to make it is simple, it's Ali :-)</p></blockquote><br /> ^ what he said.<br /><br />If you're rating athleticism, Bo jackson is hands down number 1. But if we're going with the all around package, of skill and significance i has to be Ali. Jackie Robinson always seems to get the shit end of the stick in these conversations though.

*edit: just read the list, they're pretty on the mark. except that lebron is 47 and Kobe Bryant is m.i.a., and that is a complete joke.
1/10/14 3:15 AM
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JohnnyChrist
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Royce Gracie, the 44th best 'athlete' to ever exist?...

Royce Gracie is one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists ever, and easily one of the most important mixed martial artists ever, but he's not a top 50 "athlete" with just MMA nevermind every sport (most sports having a MUCH bigger pool of athletes to choose from too).

1/10/14 3:26 AM
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ChaosOverkill
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If Jim Brown is not on that list it's a fraud.

Tiger Woods is a golfer and barely the best one right now, he seems like a decent athlete but I don't get why he gets so much athletic respect for golf. If he had some other proof fine, but if like stated above Tiger is on it and Kobe isn't, that's retarded.

1/10/14 3:33 AM
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ChaosOverkill
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Edited: 01/10/14 3:34 AM
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Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Barry Sanders, Hell SHAQUILLE O'NEAL deserves better standing than Tiger Woods in terms of athletics. Tiger plays a game comparable to Darts and Billiards with more walking and longer matches and I don't call them athletes either. John Daly won a major, that's a game and test of dexterity, focus and concentration not a sport, and I play golf.

If this is purely a money and effect on sport list then fine, BUT EVEN THEN Kobe and Shaq should be on there.

1/10/14 3:40 AM
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in_different
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JohnnyChrist - 

Royce Gracie, the 44th best 'athlete' to ever exist?...

Royce Gracie is one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists ever, and easily one of the most important mixed martial artists ever, but he's not a top 50 "athlete" with just MMA nevermind every sport (most sports having a MUCH bigger pool of athletes to choose from too).


who would you prefer represent MMA instead of Royce, as an "athlete" ambassador for the sport?

Anderson?
Jones?


Fedor?



GSP?
1/10/14 5:54 AM
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JoeDavolasRoundhouseKick
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Kirik -
EatonBeever - 

Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.

 

Ali is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years. Jordan was a basketball player who moved a mountain of sneakers. And purely from an athletic point of view, setting aside what "great" means, Jordan's athletic skills only worked in one sport. Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, and some others were far better all around athletes. And for dominating a single sport, Gretzky is without peer.

 

So it is complex. But if you want to make it is simple, it's Ali :-)

Stole quite a few bases in the minor leagues iirc. Phone Post 3.0
1/10/14 7:38 AM
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ranier wolfcastle
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kinda ironic they used a pic from his hughes fightRoyce Gracie in Sports Illustrated

1/10/14 7:48 AM
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Brabo Ben
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You can't take anything away from Royce for his accomplishments and all he has done for our sport, truly a legend. But athleticism? I don't agree with that, there are so many more athletes in MMA , if it has to be anyone, it should be GSP, the Jack of all trades and physical specimen. He never came out of shape, dominated his division.
If SI were making a list of the most influential athletes of all time I could understand, but on athletic merit he should not be on that list over people who didn't make it. Just my opinion, but it's great to see MMA in a list with other mainstream sports, it's a big deal. Phone Post 3.0
1/10/14 7:52 AM
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pheonix5
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The man started the whole MMA revolution. The reason MMA exists outside of Brazil at all. The reason there's people practicing Jiu Jitsu and MMA all around the world. Fought guy's nearly twice his weight when there were literally only two rules.

Like RNJ said, the fact that he and MMA were even recognized for such an award is huge, considering how it all started.

Congrats to him, he deserves it.
1/10/14 7:56 AM
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shaqitup
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Kirik -
EatonBeever - 

Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.

 

Ali is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years. Jordan was a basketball player who moved a mountain of sneakers. And purely from an athletic point of view, setting aside what "great" means, Jordan's athletic skills only worked in one sport. Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, and some others were far better all around athletes. And for dominating a single sport, Gretzky is without peer.

 

So it is complex. But if you want to make it is simple, it's Ali :-)

It isn't Ali, he wasn't nearly as dominant and Royce shouldn't even sniff the list tbh. Phone Post 3.0
1/10/14 7:58 AM
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Blunderhooks
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Tank Abbot was pretty far behind at 48 but congrats to him all the same. Phone Post 3.0
1/10/14 8:32 AM
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Big Pookie
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Brabo Ben - You can't take anything away from Royce for his accomplishments and all he has done for our sport, truly a legend. But athleticism? I don't agree with that, there are so many more athletes in MMA , if it has to be anyone, it should be GSP, the Jack of all trades and physical specimen. He never came out of shape, dominated his division.
If SI were making a list of the most influential athletes of all time I could understand, but on athletic merit he should not be on that list over people who didn't make it. Just my opinion, but it's great to see MMA in a list with other mainstream sports, it's a big deal. Phone Post 3.0


VU. Very well said.

If I had to choose one fighter to represent mma as an all time great "athlete", it's GSP hands down.
1/10/14 8:32 AM
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Kirik
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shaqitup - 
Kirik -
EatonBeever - 

Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.

 

Ali is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years. Jordan was a basketball player who moved a mountain of sneakers. And purely from an athletic point of view, setting aside what "great" means, Jordan's athletic skills only worked in one sport. Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, and some others were far better all around athletes. And for dominating a single sport, Gretzky is without peer.

 

So it is complex. But if you want to make it is simple, it's Ali :-)

It isn't Ali, he wasn't nearly as dominant and Royce shouldn't even sniff the list tbh. Phone Post 3.0

You guys are missing the point about the definition of a great athlete. Athletic skill is only the beginning.

1/10/14 8:34 AM
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LordSeano
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Lol at idiots going, "but, but there are better athletes!" and completely missing the point of that list.

Like it or not - Royce (and Rorion) are the main reason this site exists, this sport exists, that collegiate wrestlers can do more than toil away as coaches, that the mystique of TMA was well and truely destroyed and that Dana is not teaching Advanced Zumba.
1/10/14 8:40 AM
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The Real Asian Cowboy
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Kirik - 
shaqitup - 
Kirik -
EatonBeever - 

Michael Jordan HAS to be number one in that list.....  There is no one who could top him.  He's iconic not only to Basketball but to all sports.

 

Ali is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years. Jordan was a basketball player who moved a mountain of sneakers. And purely from an athletic point of view, setting aside what "great" means, Jordan's athletic skills only worked in one sport. Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, and some others were far better all around athletes. And for dominating a single sport, Gretzky is without peer.

 

So it is complex. But if you want to make it is simple, it's Ali :-)

It isn't Ali, he wasn't nearly as dominant and Royce shouldn't even sniff the list tbh. Phone Post 3.0

You guys are missing the point about the definition of a great athlete. Athletic skill is only the beginning.


This.

Add in a person's contribution to the sport and the  list is cut by more than half.

1/10/14 8:58 AM
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Tombmatter
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Havent seen the list, but it sounds like top 50 athletes to perform on american soil. I would put Karelin as #1.
1/10/14 10:01 AM
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Old noob
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Babe Ruth's fat unhealthy ass is always high up on these lists. I'm guessing #12.
1/10/14 10:10 AM
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rkm456
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Tombmatter - Havent seen the list, but it sounds like top 50 athletes to perform on american soil. I would put Karelin as #1.

If anyone who wasn't a wrestling fan knew who he was. You want Bushwacker in the top 5 too?
1/10/14 10:17 AM
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Whambo
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LordSeano - Lol at idiots going, "but, but there are better athletes!" and completely missing the point of that list.

Like it or not - Royce (and Rorion) are the main reason this site exists, this sport exists, that collegiate wrestlers can do more than toil away as coaches, that the mystique of TMA was well and truely destroyed and that Dana is not teaching Advanced Zumba.

So the "50 greatest athletes of all time" isn't really a list of the 50 greatest athletes of all time is what you're saying?

And I like how people give revisitionist history, they frame it tho somehow the sport would have died if Ken won UFC 1 instead of Royce.


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