In November of 1999, Kazushi Sakuraba defeated Royler Gracie in Pride Fighting Championships. It was the first time a Gracie had faced defeat in professional MMA in decades.
In an attempt to get revenge, Royce Gracie returned to the sport to fave Sakuraba. The match came with a new set of rules having no time limits or referee stoppages.
In what became the longest MMA match of all time, Royce and Kazushi battled for an hour and a half, before Royce's corner threw in the towel.
It was after this fight that Sakuraba was labeled "The Gracie Hunter."
His original intent was a match with Rickson Gracie, but due to Rickson's retirement, Sakuraba would fight any Gracie that was willing.
Next he fought Renzo Gracie, followed by Ryan Gracie. Against Renzo, Sakuraba won by submission after a competitive fight, but Renzo refused to tap even when his elbow broke.
After this fight, Ryan Gracie issued a challenge to Sakuraba to fight at the next event. Ryan went on to lose by decision to Sakuraba at Pride 12.
The Gracie name was considered MMA royalty at the time, and Sakuraba had become a superstar by running through four of them. To the Gracie's honor, none of them ever tapped out.