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)
Brad Pickett, “I owe a lot to this sport, it’s helped me out so much”
As Saturday looms closer, a new championship belt lies in waiting. Not just a new title, the first title bestowed from a young and growing promotion. Rise of Champions hosts its fifth event Saturday, in which new amateur and pro champions will be crowned.
Saturday is a great opportunity for the young promotion. Co-owner and former UFC veteran, Brad Pickett doesn’t look to compete with the bigger promotions like Cage Warriors or ACB, let alone the UFC. To his luck, Rise of Champions 5, doesn’t have to. While the UFC does have an event scheduled for the upcoming weekend, it happens to be the somewhat rare occurrence of a Sunday night show. Though, it does make sense, with the North American market free from the anaconda like stranglehold the NFL (American football) maintains for nearly 5 months of the year. Nonetheless, the Sunday night cards are strewn from the norm. Which is essentially what ROC looks to provide.
The regional circuit in Europe holds a good portion of quality promotions and Pickett wants to add ROC to that list. “I just want it to be a really recognizable name. Like for (people to say), ‘Oh, that’s a good show’. You hear that name and go, ‘that’s a really well worked, a really good show’.” It seems for the retired UK MMA legend, he couldn’t be happier. In describing what it meant to run a promotion, he said, “I just feel great to be a part of it. I owe a lot to this sport, it’s helped me out so much, and I just like to put back what I’ve learned over the years with my coaching but then also later, run a promotion, give guys a good platform to grow and showcase their skills. For me, in a way, I feel it’s my duty to do something like this and stay within the sport”.
The other co-owner, Mickey Papas and he began the promotion together, while Pickett still competed in 2015. Papas and Pickett have a long-standing relationship stemming from early in the former Bantamweights career. “My relationship with Mickey started off like this; I remember when I was fighting in Cage Rage back in the day, I knew nothing on the floor really. I was just like a stand up fighter. I knew a little bit but I was unversed, and then I remember going to do some Jiu Jitsu and then also bumping into Mickey. Mickey was more Pankration, which I thought back then, the wrestling side of MMA was more important than just Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the gi… he’s been one of my coaches ever since, even when I (went) out to America, I trained in America for a lot but also I’d come back in and train here. I had two teams, I had ATT and Team Titan.”
Upon further discussion of his promotion, Pickett revealed an aspect of his promotion which separates ROC from the rest of the popular regional promotions. “I like the fact when I have a pro main card of 4-5 fights and the rest of my card is amateur fights. Where shows like Bamma and Cage Warriors are predominantly only pro fights.” He continued, “I want to keep to my emphasis of young talent. And also in my pro fights people like Mike Ekundayo (an undefeated fighter coached by Pickett at Team Titan) who is the main event… I’m still trying to promote younger, unbeaten talent to help build themselves”.
Through his MMA journey, the retired fighter took many personal experiences while competing and coaching under a litany of promotions. He depicted one odd story in which, “I remember one of my fighters fighting on the show getting quite a bad cut on his eye. I remember seeing it backstage where I had other guys fighting on the show, later on the card, (guys) that I’m cornering. He’s just sitting back there and I said, ‘What’s going on, are you going to get stitched? The doctor going to see you to get you stitched up?’ He goes,
‘No, no, they gave me these steri strips’.
‘What do you mean they gave you steri strips?’,
‘They gave me steri strips to do it myself’. And I’m like,
‘You’re taking a piss’…
I went and complained, and they said, ‘Oh no, there’s one doctor, he’s by the cage side. He can’t come back and do the stitches. There’s a hospital just down the road why don’t you leave and go there?’ and I’m like you’re expecting one of my fighters to leave your show looking like he does with a massive gash on his face? It’s just like loads of things like that, it always happens.”
Having experience in the regional circuit, at the time that he did, Pickett was exposed to a lot. When asked about the preliminary conception of Rise of Champions, he explained it as so, “I’ve been to a of lot good shows in my career and I’ve been to a lot of bad shows. I’ve been to the best shows in the world as well. So for me, I knew that I have a very good insight on how a show should run, in front of the camera and more importantly behind the camera, because you get a lot of promoters who know how it should look for the camera but don’t know how to treat the fighters backstage or how things should run. Me (having) competed at the highest organization for many years, I know what that means.”
Pickett continued, “And it’s not a case of always about having money, it’s about proper organization, doing things well and at the end of the day knowing that, the fighters are the stars of the show. Where at some shows, they’re treating the fighters like cattle. (They treat them) like, go in fight and see you later, who’s next? For me, I am very much against that. Also, I felt the emphasis of my shows is to try and help grow and nurture, young developing talent… when I was doing it, it wasn’t really a career path for anyone, but now it’s a legitimate career path for young and aspiring athletes to be able to go out there and earn life changing money.”
As a self-critical person, Pickett believes ROC’s first four events turned out well, although he sees room for improvement. “I do believe they always can get better. One thing I can’t complain with, is the fights. The fights have always been really good, and at the end of the day that is what matters. There is no point of having this glitz and glamour, and spending thousands and thousands of pounds on lights, cameras, and just having complete dud fights.” Without much of a pause, he continued, “I do all the matchmaking myself. I do believe I know what are good fights and I put on some really good fights on my show. That’s what I am happy with. If the show keeps growing, then I can add a bit more glitz and glamour. A bit more on the production and things.”
One aspect he wishes translated better to the broadcast, is the ROC fighter ceremonies. “I do like a Pride thing, where there’s a ceremony before the start of the show where all the fighters come out in front of the audience, (all the fighters) on the under card. Then midway through the whole event, there’s a pause, a break and then we have another ceremony for the main card fighters.” In this certain structure, he believes the ceremonies not only add to the spectacle of the event but excite audiences for the fights to come. “It gives the (fighters) a bit more time in front of the crowd. And where, you may go (to) see Joe Blocks fight, but then you just see these two other guys come out and think, ‘Man, these two guys look like they’re gonna have a great scrap. I wanna watch that fight as well’… if you can get people interested in other fights on the card, it’s a win. That’s why I’m trying not to just make a good fight, I’m trying to make a good event where people go, ‘this is good, I would love to come to this show next time no matter who’s fighting’.”
While ROC does not occupy all his time, the hectic nature balancing multiple jobs earned Picketts attention as soon as he retired. He claimed, “Its weird, I’ll be honest with you, it was so much easier when I was a professional fighter. All I had to do is concentrate on myself, get up in the morning, train for a couple (of) hours, relax, (then) train a couple of hours in the evening and that’s it. It was so much easier. Also, I earned great money when I was fighting towards the end of my career. But now, I have to go back to the hustle… it’s not always about being financially rewarding but that obviously is important, I have a kid. I’ve got a house, a mortgage to pay. So that is important but, it also is to try to do what I like doing as well”.
It is evident, even from afar, that retirement hasn’t worn out the rugged mentality training and fighting gave him. Besides co-owning a promotion with his friend and business partner, Mickey Papas, Pickett hosts a weekly podcast (The One Punch Podcast), has a beautiful family (with an adorable son you can catch on his Instagram account), coaches fighters, trains average citizens, and travels for seminars. Yet, he finds time for all of it.
I imagine it would be hard to find another human like Brad Pickett. His youthful exuberance, tough mentality, and pragmatic nature make him an impossible character to clone. Speaking to him and feeling those qualities, only magnified the respect and admiration I had for the man. The MMA community is lucky to have Brad Pickett, and even luckier to keep him inside of it.
Rise of Champions 5, takes place this Saturday, February 16th at the Brentwood Leisure Centre, in Brentwood, England.
Jonas Magard, “This is all I do. I don’t have anything else”
In the late hours of this upcoming Saturday night in the Greenwich Mean Time Zone, a new Bantamweight champion will earn his crown. A little over 300 feet from the A12 in Brentwood, England, inside the Brentwood Centre, is where it will all happen. The medium sized venue will host Brad Pickett and his Rise of Champions promotion, for their fifth event and second with the venue.
An important event, ROC 5, represents something greater to a few different people involved with Saturdays show. For the promotions co-owner Pickett, it represents an opportunity to capture American audiences on a UFC-less Saturday while being broadcast exclusively on the world-leader’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass. Although the former UFC contender has a lot riding on the success of his shows, ROC 5 may mean less to the owner than to both his main event fighters. Currently, the ROC 5 main event is set to determine the promotions first ever champion when Denmark’s Jonas Magard takes on London’s own, Mike Ekundayo.
Both young, talented, and riding unbeaten streaks, this main event represents a major stepping stone in their careers. In the case of Jonas Magard, “It’s just a new opportunity to do something, to put my mark on things. With or without the title I just want to fight. He’s in my way to something bigger”. His words echoed his demeanor. While the Danish Amateur MMA Champion, wanted to behave excited for the opportunity, fighting under the ROC banner, his attitude simply would not allow him. “I can’t wait to see how they put on the show and stuff, I think it’s going to be fun. But again it’s just me and him, it’s not about the show… I have not been training to fight at that event. I’ve been training to fight that guy and if it’s that’s event or if it’s in the backyard, it’s the same for me”.
Not only was the young Danish fighters’ mentality impressive but his record as well. At 8-3, Magard owns 7 stoppages, 6 by Japanese neck tie. The same submission he defeated Michail Chrisopoulus, with a little less than half of the opening round remaining, in his most recent appearance at ACB 75. And the same submission in which he holds the record for most finishes.
His journey to this point could not be described by the meager word, easy. After training for a year and two amateur fights in his home of Jutland, Denmark, Magard decided to make a change. “I went to Copenhagen to try to train there, in one of the bigger gyms and they just opened their arms and welcomed me. So, I thought why not move? I was 19 at the time. I didn’t really know anybody in Copenhagen”. He continued, “the first couple of times I was over there, I would live with some of the guys from the gym. I would have an amateur fight coming up, so I’d stay there for a month… I would still have my address and live back in Jutland, but I would just go over there do my training and my training camps”.
Magard travels quite a bit for his MMA training. In his current situation, Magard splits time between Rumble Sport in Copenhagen, Denmark and All Powers gym in Manchester, England. “I think a lot of fighters, they get too comfortable in their own little circle of fighters and in their own gym, where I like to just go out, get the best training work whether it is in Denmark or wherever. I don’t care about traveling or getting pushed as much as I can”.
He’s made a routine of being uncomfortable, something he does not think can be said of his opponent, “I think he hasn’t been battle tested, the same way as I have. Yeah, he’s a good opponent, he’s a guy I have to beat. He’s undefeated… but you know, I don’t think he’s been battled tested as he’s going to be now, with me (in) this fight, it’s just different”.
“I’ve seen his opponents and his opponents are okay but, they didn’t have a lot of fights either like he don’t. Not even as an amateur. As an amateur, I fought the guy who just fought for the Cage Warriors title, Alexander Jacobsen, he had like 125 boxing matches… I fought the guy who is going to fight for the Cage Warriors flyweight championship, Sam (Creasey)… I had the hard fights as an amateur, I don’t think he had the hard fights, that’s the difference about over here in Scandinavia. We get battle tested,” he continued to elaborate, “in amateur, people don’t get built up, people are getting hard fights. I had two fights the same day, for the Danish MMA amateur championship… I’ve been facing guys who I know come there to win, who’s just not there to be food… this is all I do, I don’t have anything else, I don’t have a day job I’m going to everyday and that’s the difference. I’m a professional, I live off this, I live for this, this is all I do. He has not met anybody like me before, who has the experiences I have.”
Magard believes the experience he earned through his MMA journey is what separates himself from his opponent. Outside of MMA, the Dane fought two shoot-fighting matches and one professional boxing bout. “He is a good fighter, he is a good strong fighter but I know the guys over here, there stronger side is not the ground. The wrestling in England, people want to punch each other in the face they don’t want to wrestle. I come from a place where people like to wrestle. And during this fight camp, I’ve been training with the (Danish) Greco Roman Olympic silver medalist [Mark Madsen]. I’ve been training with Martin Kammpman the former Danish UFC fighter… I eat I sleep I breathe MMA every day and I don’t want anything else. That’s going to be the difference in this fight one hundred percent”.
Interview: The Sit Down featuring Manny Bermudez
- Interviews3 months ago
Exclusive: Alexander Gustafsson eyeing summer 2018 return- wants title shot next
- Opinion4 months ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- Interviews4 months ago
Sage Northcutt on Moving to Sacramento and Life at Team Alpha Male
- Cage Warriors4 months ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- Rumours3 years ago
Proto MMA History: The Day Antonio Inoki Almost Killed The Great Antonio
- BAMMA3 months ago
BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream
- Interviews4 months ago
Tim Means on Lawsuit Against Supplement Companies “I’m Going to Shut Them Down”
- Interviews4 months ago
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”