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Royce Gracie announced as new brand ambassador for Bellator MMA

Ethan Miller

Another UFC Hall of Fame member is heading to Bellator MMA, but this one won’t be entering the cage to compete.

Winner of three of the first four UFC one-night tournaments, Royce Gracie was announced on Wednesday as the new official brand ambassador for Bellator.

According to the promotion, the MMA legend "will host seminars, be involved in autograph and promotional appearances, as well as aiding in the international expansion of Bellator around the world," and also "be involved in a co-branded merchandise line that will debut in 2015."

His "debut" as a Bellator ambassador will be on Nov. 15, when fellow UFC Hall of Fame members Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar clash in the main event of Bellator 131 in San Diego.

"I have known Scott for a long time and have always respected him as not only a promoter but as a martial artist who has always treated fighters with respect and truly understands their value," Gracie stated in a release. "Bellator and Viacom want to give fans exciting fights and enable fighters to continue to grow and most importantly provide for their family, and it’s something I want to be a part of.

"UFC has done a great job over the past twenty years in building this sport and taking it globally and I’m glad to have been part of that, but Bellator is a growing organization I am honored to be a part of, and with the dedicated and talented people already associated with the company, we can further the growth of mixed martial arts as a sport worldwide."

Scott Coker, who replaced Bjorn Rebney as the president of Bellator MMA earlier this year, is happy to welcome the MMA legend to the promotion.

"To call Royce a legend would be an absolute understatement," Coker said. "Royce and the Gracie family are directly responsible for making this sport what it is today and we are incredibly fortunate to have him be a part of the Bellator family. Royce will serve in many different capacities for Bellator and I look forward to our fighters, staff and most importantly, our fans, in having the chance to interact with one of the most iconic figures in sports."

Royce Gracie made his MMA debut in 1993, shocking the world with his jiu-jitsu in submission wins over Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau. He last fought in 2007 against Kazushi Sakuraba, hanging his gloves with a 14-2-3 MMA record.

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