Art Jimmerson, the UFC 1 legend famous for wearing just one glove, has passed away at the age of 61

Combat sports icon Art Jimmerson recently passed away at the age of 61. He left behind a legacy along with a peculiar moment in mixed martial arts history.

The sight of him stepping into the Octagon with one boxing glove against Royce Gracie at UFC 1 remains etched in the memory of combat sports fans worldwide.

At first glance, Jimmerson’s decision seemed rooted in his boxing career. Riding a 15-bout win streak, the Missouri native was cautious of jeopardizing his hand. Hence, he opted for a single glove. He wanted to use his jabbing hand for offense while leaving the other hand bare for defensive maneuvers.

But if you look deeper into the narrative, UFC co-founder Campbell McLaren tells a different story. McLaren recounts a pivotal conversation between Jimmerson and referee John McCarthy. The latter emphasized the grappling threat posed by opponents like Gracie.

Subsequently, Jimmerson’s anxiety surged. This prompted him to adopt the one-glove strategy. Allegedly, the professional boxer wore one glove as a consequence to make sure the referee could see him tap out and save a broken arm.

November 12, 1993, marked a historic juncture in combat sports as UFC 1 took place at the McNichols Sports Arena. This event marked the genesis of modern mixed martial arts, featuring a diverse pool of competitors representing various disciplines.

The clash between Gracie’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and Jimmerson’s boxing acumen captivated audiences. But Jimmerson succumbed to Gracie’s expertise, enduring a first-round submission defeat.

Following his defeat against Gracie, Jimmerson bid goodbye to the UFC. But he continued his journey in professional boxing. He had a respectable record of 33-18 before retiring in 2002.

Despite his departure from MMA, Jimmerson is considered to be a pioneer who paved the path for the present generation. His legacy in combat sport will continue to inspire generations of contenders worldwide.