UFC 1 was iconic for a number of reasons. It heralded the introduction of Royce Gracie as one of the world’s most influential martial artists. In turn, the UFC was a showcase for Royce’s unique style of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a whole. However, the biggest reason for the UFC was was to pose the question, “Which Martial Art was most effective?” One of the most iconic and memorable images of UFC 1 was of the One-Gloved boxer, Art Jimmerson, taking on the Gi clad Brazilian and eventual tournament victor Royce Gracie.
MMA Latest’s Adam Shone had the pleasure of speaking with Art Jimmerson to catch up with him and fight out what he’s been up to since that seminal bout against Royce Gracie.
Adam Shone: Art, Thanks again for speaking to us. You’ve had a varied and distinguished career but what is Art Jimmerson up to now?
Art Jimmerson: I’m living in Los Angeles California working as a Personal Boxing Trainer.
AS: Do you work with any current MMA Fighters?
ART: Just the public. I’m at the Triton Mix Martial Arts Training Centre in Redondo Beach now because the UFC has so many trainers I make way more money away from the Corporate Company. I was only teaching boxing classes at certain times and the UFC Gym Rosemead location was too far.
AS: Looking back, how did you ever get involved in the original Ultimate Fighter tournament?
ART: I got involved in the Original UFC through a Champion Kick Boxer named Ernest Hart who told me they were looking for a World ranked Boxer which I was at the time.
“Can you believe Don [The Dragon Wilson] came to California a few years before we fought to try out Boxing? I sparred with him, busted him up pretty bad and gave him a Bloody Nose!”
AS: I appreciate you didn’t go in totally unprepared as you had previously fought Don “The Dragon” Wilson – How did that fight play out?
ART: Well, I really didn’t know what to expect! All this was new! I never trained the correct way for either fight!
Can you believe Don came to California a few years before we fought to try out Boxing? I sparred with him, busted him up pretty bad and gave him a Bloody Nose! As fate would have it, years later we would meet again as a, “Kickboxer vs Boxer Show”. Don was only allowed to throw so many Kicks and he went way overboard!!! The fight was stopped around the 5th round because my leg was swollen from all the kicks.
Wilson vs Jimmerson…
Check out this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/z1GWaCLgzNs
AS: Did the defeat of UFC 1 hurt for a while after?
ART: In the beginning, I wanted nothing to do with the UFC because of the way I lost! I wasn’t given a fair chance! Put Royce in a Boxing ring under my rules and see what happens!
I just wasn’t taught the tools to defend against a grappler when I fought Royce Gracie! He even told me he knew that if I hit him I would, “Knock Him out”! I had a 15 fight Win Streak!
I got a lot of Cool UFC 1 Memorabilia on eBay under my name! Check out how Royce signed this Boxing Glove!
“THANKS FOR NOT HITTING ME”! ha ha
Here’s a picture of Art finally getting his revenge:
AS: That original Iconic Single Glove must be worth a fortune now
I was offered $60,000 for the Original Glove and $10,000 for the Original Boxing Trunks.
AS: Whatever happened to the now famous “One Glove”? Did you sell it?
ART: No, I didn’t. I had plenty of opportunity like when I first got to California about 2010, I was driving down Highway 405 and I saw a sign that said, “GRACIE JIU JITSU ACADEMY”.
I asked my girlfriend to get off so we could stop by. As we pulled up to the Gym I saw a shining blue Rolls Royce sitting in the parking lot. I thought WOW, these guys are really taking full advantage of their gifts!
As I walked in, I saw a secretary sitting behind the desk and asked her, “was the owner here”? She said, “yes, may I help you”? I said, “is his name, Rorian Gracie”? She said, “yes”. So, she called for Rorian to come up front. When Rorian saw me he said, “may I help you”? I said, “do you know who I am”? He said, “no”. I said, “look at me real good”! Ha ha. He still said, “no”… I said, “One Glove”! He said, “ART JIMMERSON!!! Oh, my GOODNESS” and then started hugging me! Ha ha (it had been over 15 years since I saw him to be fair) he’s a great guy!
Rorian then brought his son out to meet me and gave me a tour of the
Academy. What happened next really shocked me, Rorian introduced me to a large class that was in training and they stopped to give me a standing ovation! I thought, how cool!
Now here’s the “cherry on top”! Rorian asked, “do you still have the “One
Glove”? I’ve got an investor who’s got a lot of money that’s interested in
buying it! Ha ha!
“My new favourite Fighter is Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm. Man, I love the way she utilises her Boxing skills with her kicks!”
AS: Holly Holm’s striking has recently highlighted the importance of footwork and boxing skills. Given your background, is this something you see as a major weakness in a lot of MMA Fighters.
ART: Yes, MMA still has a lot to learn from Boxing! A lot of the fighters have no jab!! A Good Jab is so important in any type of fighting. A good jab sets the course of the fight. A good jab controls when and where you can place your opponent. Also footwork. To have the ability to hit and not get hit! Footwork allows you to keep your opponent at bay and away from their most dangerous punches. Boxing is so important when it comes to fighting!
AS: You’ve previously called out “Kimbo Slice” to take part in a boxing match. Do you still have that urge to lace up the gloves or are your fighting days now done?
ART: I did call out Kimbo a few years ago, but I’m all good now. Ha ha! I’ll just enjoy watching the young guys do it.
AS: Obviously having a career in boxing and being involved in the first UFC event are major highlights but what would you say was your career defining moment?
ART: I’ll answer this in two parts…
First, I only had 11 professional fights! Lapaglia had close to 40! They brought me in as a TUNE UP to get him ready for a Title Shot and I beat him within six rounds. It was a big upset at the time
Second part which is a true story.
I was so mad at the UFC because of the way I thought they embarrassed and used me so I wanted nothing to do with them. But one night, I was at a Restaurant in Downtown St. Louis with a Lawyer who I trained, and Evander Holyfield who I boxed in the amateurs with.
We were all eating with our dates and two guys walk by and shout, “Art ‘One Glove’ Jimmerson!” Then they go, “Wow! Evander ‘Real Deal’ Holyfield!” I thought what you’d call me??? “One Glove”? They looked at Evander and said, Mr Holyfield, no disrespect sir, but can we please get a Photo with, “One Glove”! We’re huge UFC Fans! Ha ha!
That’s when I knew MMA was on its way up! Lol
AS: Incredible story, Was Evander upset?
ART: No, Evander is such a Class Act! When he was here in L.A. I brought him by the UFC GYM and everybody went Crazy!
AS: Must be crazy to still get recognised?
ART: What’s crazy is when I meet people and they, “TWEET” they met me! Lol
AS: Do you have a favourite current MMA fighter?
ART: My new favourite Fighter is Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm. Man, I love the way she utilises her Boxing skills with her kicks! Holly’s learned the secret of staying out of clinches and how to get out of submission holds! Her Boxing skills are awesome!
AS: Can you give us a win prediction for what will likely be the biggest fight of the year: McGregor vs Aldo.
ART: Man, that’s a tough one! Ha ha. Both guys are strong and great fighters! I’ll say this, the fighter who uses all his tools, (Striking, Grappling, Kicks etc.) in the fight will be the Victor! Ha ha!
AS: Finally, Campbell Maclaren, the first executive producer for the UFC, went on record as saying that the reason you wore the now famous “One Glove” was to ensure that the referee could see you tap if the fight ever got to that point. However, you have been recorded as saying it was so you could protect your hand for future boxing bouts. Can you clarify why you decided to wear the single glove?
ART: NOT TRUE!!!
I don’t know where Campbell got that from! Man, I felt sorry for Royce!
I’m knocking out guys with boxing gloves on! What would I do with my bare fists?! Ha ha.
I wore the “One Glove” because I had a potential upcoming fight with World Boxing Champion, “Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns!
AS: Art, It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking to you and on behalf of MMA Latest and our readers I thank you for your time.
Art Jimmerson and his “One Glove” are now weaved into the fabric of MMA History. Art himself is a very religious Christian man attributing his strength in his faith back to a massive heart attack in 2009 where his heart actually stopped and he believes it’s only due to the grace of God he’s alive today. Every email we shared is adorned with another quote from the Bible and he takes joy in spreading the “good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ”. He has gained so many great life experiences on the back of UFC 1 but looking back, nothing could have prepared him for what happened on that now iconic day of November 12, 1993, and how his life and Martial Arts would change forever.
(Photos courtesy of Art Jimmerson)
UFC 219’s Jimmie Rivera to TJ Dillashaw “Defend Your Belt or Vacate.”
MMA Latest had the chance to talk to #4 ranked UFC bantamweight Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera ahead of his fight at UFC 219 against John Lineker.
Rivera (21-1) extended his unbeaten run to twenty when he defeated Thomas Almeida at UFC Long Island in July. Originally scheduled to face former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, we began by asking Rivera how the opponent change had affected his preparation for UFC 219.
The only thing that’s changed is the game plan, everything else stays the same. Cruz is more of an irritating fight because he just doesn’t stop moving, but with Lineker, he’s going to stay in the pocket and bang, and I love that.
Recently, Rivera posted a video to his Twitter account of him sparring with the recently crowned bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. He told us about the context of this video, and how the sparring went down between them.
It was 3 or 4 years back. I think TJ had just lost to (John) Dodson on TUF. My teammate Louis Gaudinot was actually fighting Tim Elliott at the time, and we were in Milwaukee so I got to train with (Urijah) Faber and Dillashaw.
Oh by the way did you forget this?…. I’m not cody, i don’t show videos then get knock out. pic.twitter.com/EsyvJmGnkz
— Jimmie Rivera (@JimmieRivera135) November 26, 2017
I just sent it to TJ to say, don’t forget what happened. I was getting the best of him, and I don’t really brag about it. But he wants to leave the weight class and fight DJ for the money fight, and I want to fight for the belt, so it’s defend your belt or vacate.
After briefly referencing the potential superfight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, I asked Rivera about his thoughts on the somewhat flawed UFC rankings system, and title fights being put together purely for entertainment value.
It sucks. When I become champ I won’t be like a TJ or McGregor, I’m going to be like Demetrious Johnson and defend my belt against people coming up, it’s the right thing to do. If you want to win the belt and leave the division straight away, it’s kind of bullshit.
Rivera concluded by telling me that although he isn’t looking past Lineker at 219, “the only fight that makes sense after this one, is fighting TJ for the belt.”
Exclusive: Alexander Gustafsson eyeing summer 2018 return- wants title shot next
Top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson hasn’t fought since an impressive knockout win back in May, against Glover Teixeira. “The Mauler” is currently on a two-fight winning streak, and for many people, is seen as one of the most logical names to fight for the title next.
Currently absent from the Octagon since May, speaking to MMA Latest, “The Mauler” explains why he’s been on such a long layoff. “I have had an injury in my shoulder,” Gustafsson told MMA Latest. “I had a surgery a couple of months back where they put in a titanium plate to keep my collarbone in place. But that plate was taken out last week so I am back to training and slowly but surely getting better with all the rehab. I’m excited to be back in the Octagon soon.”
After so many obstacles, Gustafsson details when we can expect him back in the cage. “If everything goes well with rehab, I’ll be back in the octagon in the beginning of the summer – right in time for the next title match!”
Volkan Oezdemir was calling out Gustafsson for a European number one contender fight, Gustafsson explains he was never interested in the fight. “No, my prior goal and my only interest is the title fight,” Gustafsson said. “If Volkan wins against DC he will probably be my next opponent.”
The title fight is “absolutely” what Gustafsson believes is next for him and don’t expect to see him in a number one contender fight first. “As I said previously, the title fight is my number one interest.”
With Daniel Cormier and Volkan Oezdemir fighting for the title at UFC 220, Gustafsson shares his thoughts on the matchup. “It’s an exciting matchup – DC is the more experienced fighter and he is a more complete fighter than Volkan,” Gustafsson said. “DC has also been in this situation before, Volkan has not.”
Back in July, Jon Jones failed his second test for PED’s after beating Daniel Cormier to regain his light heavyweight belt. Before the fights with Daniel Cormier, Jones went to war with Gustafsson back in 2013. Gustafsson shares his thoughts on Jones’ second failed test. “Disastrous is my first thought,” Gustafsson explains. “But for the sport, it is good that the truth is out. I wish Jon good luck in his rehab and he is one of the most talented fighters in the UFC.”
Gustafsson was also asked if he eyeing a rematch with Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones before the end of his career. “Of course, I feel good and I’m motivated,” Gustafsson said. “I would like to get the opportunity to match up against both DC and Jon before I retire.”
Exclusive: Aljamain Sterling discusses upcoming fight and more ahead of UFC Fresno
Alajamain Sterling is set to meet late-notice opponent, Marlon Moraes, at the UFC’s return to California. UFC Fresno is headlined by a featherweight fight between top contenders Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega.
Sterling was originally supposed to meet Rani Yahya before he was forced to pull out. Although the Moraes is a bigger fight, it doesn’t seem to matter much to the Brazilian Jui-Jitsu brown belt.
“I don’t really give a sh*t honestly,” Sterling told MMA Latest. “I just want to fight, make money, whoop ass, and get paid, you know? That’s honestly all I really care about right now at this point in my career and I’m fighting to pay the bills. This what I chose to do and I have to keep the ball rolling. That’s honestly the way I’m looking at things right now and it is a bigger fight for sure. But at the end of the day, it’s another man standing in front of me trying to do the same thing, separate me from my consciousness, or detach a limb from my body.”
Sterling also shares his thoughts on his new opponent, Moraes. “I think he’s a great opponent,” Sterling said. “I think a win over him puts me in a position to fight for a number one contender spot or challenge for the world title.”
Another bantamweight who was also looking for a replacement opponent was Jimmie Rivera, but was a fight with ever a realistic possibility? “Yeah, it was,” Sterling said. “But it takes two to fight, so Rivera didn’t want the fight and here we are.”
So why did it take so long for a replacement to be booked? “Well if you look at the landscape of the top ten, top fifteen of the division, everyone was pretty much booked up,” Sterling explains. “So there really wasn’t no one readily available to fight, so that kind of left me to either take a stay busy fight or just kind of wait and see what happens.”
Sterling also discussed who he believes is next for him with a win. “Well it really depends on the landscape of the division right now,” Sterling says. “TJ’s (Dillashaw) talking about trying to fight Mighty Mouse, I don’t know if Mighty Mouse is going to take the fight and hopefully he, TJ, he’s fighting within our division so we can keep this division going. Right now this is the hottest division, I think, in my personal opinion. So for him to try to leave the division to go take a fight at a weight class when he didn’t clean out his weight class yet, that doesn’t make much sense to me. So hopefully the UFC keeps him rolling and keeps him active between the 135-pound division. I think TJ’s actually a really great fight for me stylistically, but right now the man I’m worried about is Marlon Moraes, he’s a tough opponent, has the legs kicks, and I can’t sleep on this guy.”
Speaking of TJ Dillashaw, Sterling was also asked if he watched the TJ vs Cody Garbrandt fight at UFC 217. “Oh definitely,” Sterling says. “I would have been, I’d be a fool not to watch that fight. I thought it was a great fight, I thought skillset was very close, I thought TJ was more well rounded. I think a lot of people called me crazy because I was saying TJ had a chance of touching him on the chin and knocking him out but if he didn’t it would be a five-round decision win for TJ. But he’s a very durable fighter, uses his brain, and he implements a great gameplan everytime he goes out there. I think the only reason he got dropped at the end of that first round was because he got a little frustrated and wanted the action to kind of pick up a little bit and in the second round he changed gears a little bit and he started to dictate the pace a little bit more. Cody’s just a big counter-fighter, counter-striker, hits hard, he’s really fast, and he’s athletic, but outside of that his skill set, if we’re looking at the skillset side of knocking people out I’m going to say his well-roundedness is not really all there, I’m not saying he can’t do it, he can’t do it all, but when he fights he primarily just strikes with his hands that’s pretty much it.”
Finally, Sterling gives his prediction for his fight Moraes. “I’m going to go out there and push the pace,” Sterling explains. “I’m going to put in work and cash out B.I.W.C.O. I think that second round I’m going to push the pace, get him, get on his legs early, fire those kicks, fire those punches down the middle, I’m going to be moving. I’m going to be moving, grooving, I’m just going to go out there and do my thing man, so I’m, we got to figure out what our skillsets are, what we bring to the table and I’m just going to, we’re just going to pull up a chair and see how we’re going to have to work this out.”
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