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Feature film about UFC formation focusing on Rorion Gracie set

Rorion Gracie Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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.”

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