Days after promoting Israel’s armed response, MMA legend Royce Gracie converts to Islam

Khabib Nurmagomedov was the first Muslim to win a UFC championship. His title win caused the sport’s popularity in the Middle East to soar. Also in the West, Nurmagomedov’s religion gained prominence because of his fame.

Undefeated boxing champion Gervonta Davis recently converted to Islam. Recently, BJJ and UFC icon Royce Gracie has accepted Islam as his new faith.

While Gervonta Davis’ conversion did not raise many eyebrows, the same cannot be said for Royce Gracie. This is especially true considering Gracie’s prior support for the IDF and Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an Instagram post. Even though the conflict is primarily political, it carries religious undertones of Jewish-Islamic conflict. Numerous UFC stars have already declared whom they support in this war.

Royce Gracie officially converted to Islam at the Deen Center in Florida, guided by Islamic scholar Shaykh Uthman. His post-conversion adoption of an Arabic name remains undisclosed, which is a common practice among those embracing Islam. Following conversion, Gervonta Davis had selected the name Abdul Waheed.

Royce Gracie’s significance in MMA extends beyond religious decisions. He pioneered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the sport and holds the distinction of being the first UFC superstar. He ended up winning three UFC tournaments during the promotion’s tournament-based structure. Notably, all his wins came against physically larger opponents.

The MMA world was caught off guard when Gracie announced his conversion to Islam a mere week after publicly expressing support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gracie’s unexpected move prompted varied reactions from fans and fellow competitors. Some of the comments were as follows:

“Royce Gracie the MMA Legend has embraced Islam 🩶”

“Wasn’t this mf supporting and was being funded by the IDF just sine days ago? I smell cap”

“From training Israeli forces ( hand to hand combat) to accepting Islam.
Who could have thought that!
May Allah keep the brother steadfast upon deen.”

“This guy was a Zionist just a week ago 💀”

Gracie’s MMA career spanned 20 matches. He boasts an impressive record of 15 wins, two losses, and three draws. He also headlined UFC 60 against Matt Hughes, a bout that broke several records. The UFC welterweight champion defeated Gracie in the first round, yet Gracie was paid four times as much as Hughes.