The incredible tale about the formation and launch of the UFC will be told on the big screen.
Mandalay Sports Media has set a feature film about the beginning of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the influence of co-founder Rorion Gracie, MMA Fighting confirmed Monday. Deadline was the first to report the news. Mandalay Sports Media will fund the film via its joint venture with IMG, a subsidiary of Endeavor, the same company that owns the UFC, Deadline reported.
The movie will be called “Gracie” and highlight how the UFC was a vehicle for the growth of Brazilian jiu-jitsu worldwide. It will be written by Robert Specland and produced by Mike Tollin, Mason Gordon, Mark Card and Gordon Gray, per Deadline. Gracie co-founded the UFC with Art Davie.
Ciardi called “Gracie,” which will tell the story of Gracie jiu-jitsu and its growth through dojo storming and beyond, “a crown jewel of a sports story.” It will go into Royce Gracie’s selection to compete in the first UFC and represent Gracie jiu-jitsu. Royce Gracie eventually won the UFC 1 tournament, inspiring many to look into Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a practical martial art.
Ciardi is a former MLB picture who has produced sports films like “The Rookie” and “Miracle,” as well as the Emmy-winning 30 for 30 documentary “Big Shot.”
“‘Gracie’ is the latest film project to take shape under the MSM/IMG output deal,” Tollin said. “Considering the close relationship between the Endeavor Content Group, IMG and UFC, this immediately becomes a priority project for us.”