On August 17, mixed martial arts fans in the Okanagan will have a chance to meet MMA legend and UFC Hall of Famer, Royce Gracie. Gracie will be making a public appearance at West Coast Authentic’s sports memorabilia showroom at 1889 Springfield Road, Suite 225. West Coast Authentic welcomes UFC fans to come down and meet Gracie in person from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. For autograph pricing and additional information, visit http://westcoastauthentic.com/upcoming-signings.php
“We have been talking with Gracie’s people for some time now about flying him up to Kelowna for a public appearance” said Jason Bobbitt, owner of www.westcoastauthentic.com “There are tons of MMA fans in the Okanagan Valley and many have not forgotten that it was Gracie who revolutionized the sport by introducing his family’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style of fighting.”
Royce Gracie burst on the MMA scene at UFC 1 in November 1993 to the dismay of his opponents in this eight-man, tournament format event. UFC 1 had no weight classes, no judges , no time limits and no rules with the exception of no eye gouging or biting. At this very first UFC event a fight only ended by knockout or submission however the fighter’s corner could stop a fight by throwing in the towel and a referee could stop it if there was a severe cut or injury.
Royce was not the Gracie family’s first choice to represent the family’s style of Jiu-Jitsu at this eagerly anticipated mixed martial arts event. Royce, father of Grandmaster Legend Helio Gracie, was the smallest of six brothers however it was brother Rorion who championed the decision to enter Royce into the event over the larger and stronger brother, Rickson. The tournament event was more than just “winner takes all”, it was a battle to determine which martial art style was most effective and what better way to prove Gracie Jiu-Jitsu than having a representative up against bigger and stronger opponents consistently outweighing Royce by more than 50 pounds.
Royce Gracie would go on to win the tournament, defeating three opponents, Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock, and Gerard Gordeau in one night and at the same time stunned MMA fans with mysterious, never seen before submission holds on these bigger and stronger opponents.
At UFC 2 Royce repeated the impossible, this time defeating four opponents in one night and winning the second UFC tournament. Royce Gracie continued to send shock waves across the MMA community at UFC 3 and UFC 4 with incredible armlocks, lapel chokes, rear naked chokes, and triangle chokes.
Today Royce Gracie continues to spread the techniques developed by his father through seminars and classes all over the world.
“We are very fortunate that Royce has accepted our invitation and we look forward to welcoming him to Kelowna.” said Bobbitt. “It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for any MMA fan to meet a legendary, ‘No Holds Barred’ champion like Royce Gracie.”
Kelowna and area MMA fans are welcome to come down and meet Royce. He will be signing autographs during his visit so fans are urged to bring a personal item to get signed or purchase items (photos and gloves) available at West Coast Authentic on the day of the event. For autograph pricing and additional information, visit http://westcoastauthentic.com/upcoming-signings.php
About West Coast Authentic
West Coast Authentic (WCA) showcases one of the most extensive and original inventories of autographed sports memorabilia including hockey, MMA, UFC, baseball, football and more.
WCA, a leader in autographed hockey memorabilia, obtaining authentic autographs through exclusive private signings with top NHL players, has expanded to autographed MMA memorabilia in 2010 by securing exclusive contracts with top UFC fighters Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, Ben Henderson, Clay Guida, Carlos Condit, Dominick Cruz, Gray Maynard, Roy Nelson, and Donald Cerrone.
Attending major UFC events and sponsoring UFC fighters, WCA has arranged many private signings for autographed photos, gloves and shorts with non-exclusive fighters such as BJ Benn, Anderson Silva, Frank Mir, Lyoto Machida, Nogueira brothers, Mark Homminick, Rashad Evans, Sam Stout, Jake Shields, Rory MacDonald, Kenny Florian, Junior Dos Santos as well as Octagon girls, Brittney Palmer, Adrianny Celeste, and Chandella Powell.
West Coast Authentic’s access to these fighters has given WCA first right of refusal on many fight worn gloves and shorts which are very popular items on http://westcoastauthentic.com.