We need to remind ourselves that the Gracies didn't start the UFC out of some kind of love and respect for MMA. They simply believed that BJJ can beat any other art and created the competition to prove it. That arrogant whiff still follows them around, hence Royces inflated impression of himself.
This is why, fundamentally, I cannot give the Gracies full respect for starting this thing. MMA was simply a side effect of their initial failed experiments. It was clear by around UFC6 that BJJ is not the super duper unbeatable art that they thought it was. No single art is. MMA was born from that realisation. Nothing to do with any forward planning by the Gracie family.
In my opinion, Randy Couture did more for MMA in his first few years then Royce did. At least, in my eyes anyway.