Power Ranking the Gracie Family Fighters

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Power Ranking the Gracie Family Fighters
The Gracie family, listed l-r. Back row: Rilion and Royler; Middle row: Royce, Pedro Valente, Relson, Rorion, Hal Faulkner and Rickson; Front row: Renzo, Ryron, Ralek, Rolker (Photo credit: Hal Faulkner)

If you're a history and/or sports buff, you'll know there are few things more fascinating than a family dynasty. Kennedy. Rockefeller. Tudor. Ming. Manning. Genovese. Baldwin. Anheuser-Busch.

You know exactly where I'm going with this. In MMA, the Gracie surname carries massive mystique. Many decades after patriarchs Carlos and Helio Gracie perfected a Brazilian style of jiu-jitsu that allowed the little guy to defend himself against the big guy, and 18 years after Royce Gracie stepped into an eight-sided dog pen to change for good and all the look and essence of hand-to-hand combat, MMA's first family remains the subject of vigorous debate.

How would the Gracies of old fare in today's MMA, which owes them a mountainous debt but may have passed them by? You hear someone say that Royce would never have had success if he hadn't worn a gi. Then you hear someone say that brother Rickson could have been, under the right circumstances, the greatest UFC fighter of all time. A handful of Gracies still competing today provide a steady trickle of gas on the fire.

Herewith is a ranking of all the Gracies who have competed in a sanctioned MMA bout. 

Scott Harris is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report MMA. He also just started something called a Twitter account @ScottHarrisMMA

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