Soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) squared off in an Ultimate Fighting Championship style combat competition, while keeping with army Modern Army Combative Program rules, August 17 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. World famous Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion, Royce Gracie, was on hand to mentor fighters and to present winners their belts.
“I can now say I was in the ring with Royce Gracie,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Labrec, the 1st SFG (A) senior enlisted leader, as he and Gracie congratulated all the fighters for their fortitude and courage to step into the octagon.
Labrec recognized the impact of Gracie’s attendance. “It’s truly an honor to be here in your presence and have you here,” said Labrec to Gracie.
The morning before the fights, Gracie held separate seminars for both children and adults.
“I grew up watching him fight, so it was really great seeing him and learning from him,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel, a Soldier assigned to the 1st SFG (A.)