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Interesting RICKSON GRACIE Thread

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  • Interesting RICKSON GRACIE Thread

    After a long two weeks..i just finished this last night...
    Warning, it's very very long.


    For three years now I have heard relentless bantering back and forth discussing the greatness of Rickson Gracie. Many of times I have found myself scratching my head over the loyalty of his followers. Worshipping of this nature is usually only reserved for super stars such as American Idol’s Clay Aiken or Christianity’s Jesus Christ. In the beginning, being the typical ignorant American, I first asked myself, ‘how many Super Bowl rings has Rickson won?, as football is the only sport that matters. None, as I soon realized from reading people’s quotes. This Rickson character is a bjj ‘artist’, the best ever and also pound for the pound the world’s greatest fighter of ALL TIME. Wow. “that’s really impressive” I thought.

    Over time though, doubts started creeping into my head. Rickson, curiously enough, had a fight record of 400-0, that was thrown around more often than a dirty pair of socks. Being a somewhat numbers obsessed guy, I quickly busted out my hp financial calculator and did some match. He’s 45. He fought nine ‘recorded’ matches from 1994 to 2004. Fair enough as 1993 was the birth of modern day MMA. So that means from Rickson’s age of 18 (1975) to 1993, 18 years, he must have then squeezed in roughly 391 recorded fights. “GOD DAMN” I shouted and scratched my head, amazed at his level of activity. That’s almost 22 fights a year! One fight every 16 days, consistently, over the time span of 18 years. That’s unmatched and to think he never missed a beat due to sickness, injury, being married, or funerals. The man just kept fighting and fighting and fighting. He must have actually snuck in a fight or two while on his honeymoon to boot. “hey honey, no sex tonight, I have to keep my fight streak intact. Will be back in three hours after I put beat down on kids in bar”

    Now really twisting my head trying to comprehend this, a few weeks ago more doubts came to the surface. Just as Jesus Christ had Mathew, Mark, Luke and John (nice jewish names to note) Rickson also had followers…JeffP, Compridough, and Rickson4life, the last person consigning his entire personality to that of another mans name. Interesting. What caused these doubts? A thread on the ADCC forum. This thread discussed legendary achievements by athletes. Wrestling’s John Smith came up, how he won an Olympic Gold medal and four World Gold medals. Alexander Karelin’s name come up next; multiple Olympic Gold Medals and decades worth of World Championship Gold’s. Surprisingly enough, the ‘fellowship of rickson’s nuts’, jeffp, compridough and rickson4life swarmed in to comment.

    Rickson first chimed in with this;

    “I am not a huge fan of gable or smith, both asholes in my book, But I respect their acheivements even if gable was using roids during the 72 games………..there is proof that Rickson is great. he beat Funaki, ya know the guy that beat frank sham, bas, kondo and a few other mellons that are legends of this forum and Rickson was undefeated and won the absolute in every bjj tourney he competed in from black belt on, by sub”

    Hmmm..i scratched my head. He then followed up with this comment…

    “Rickson has more documented titles of bjj then the wrestlers do in wrestling and bjj IMO is harder from doing both”

    Wow…I was shocked as I didn’t know that. I suppose I learned something new that day. Little did I know that more was on the way. The second apostle of Rickson’s nuts, JeffP, immediately countered with more facts to back the Rickson story…

    “Now if Rickson counted every guy he ever really tapped into his record, he would be about 4 million and something, not 400-0. Rickson and Felix Heredia tapped 200 guys in Japan in one day back in the early 90's. I'm also sure Gokor has tapped more guys than he can count with an adding machine”

    I felt stupid. Here I was, shortchanging Rickson for the past few years, thinking his record was only 400 ‘documented’ wins, when in actuality, I was failing to consider all the practice room victories he had secured. I felt foolish for disagreeing with JeffP. Utilizing my calculater again, I crunched the numbers. From age 16 to age 44…that’s 28 years of fighting. 4 million divided by 28 equals … GASP!!! 391 confirmed victories every single DAY, over the span of 28 years. Was that possible? That’s 16 beat downs every hour, 24 hours a day, over 28 years. Rickson must be tapping people in his sleep, while he takes dumps on the toilet, while he eats. This is incredible, I thought. But catching my breath and trying to relax, I soon realized that I was played for a fool, the above is simply not possible. I posted the above thought trying to rationally reason with these followers. I asked, where can this humble man known only as ‘the wrestler’ find such facts you are now sharing. I too would like to nutride some day and if so, there cannot be a greater set of nuts to suck than the man who taps people while eating and shittting.

    Nonetheless, the man known only as ‘rickson4life’ politely informed me next that:

    “hey there jerknutz, I neva promised you nuthin, but I did at one time have those facts and another source that had at least 127 matches listed

    Rejected. I was quite despondent.

    Therein lies the beginning of my story. The 7 day pilgramidge to the holy land of ‘rickson’ to search for the truth. To attempt to find the holy covenants that lie out there, also known as ‘Rickson’s fight record’ Over this time span, I would actually send one of my employees to go to California, try to ask Rickson himself for the ‘supposed records’ Others in my office would also help as we scoured the internet three times over, pouring over every record and fact available. This is what we would find.

    Using our trusted allies ‘’ and ‘’, we got to searching. The first two web sites were of no use in terms of actual accomplishments. Instead, much of those Rickson sites spent all their time discussing Rickson’s looks. The actual words we found…

    “The blankness of the supremely confident. Rickson is 29, as muscular as a bodybuilder, with a Marine's crewcut, the high cheekbones of an Inca Indian and a square jaw”


    “If Rorion is amiably handsome, Rickson is devastatingly handsome. Noted photographer Bruce Weber”

    “Was he a bjj guy or a gay film star?” Carol, my secretary asked. Looking at his beach pictures, Rickson, to the untrained eye looking at his sites, looked like a romo We decided to press on with our search, moving on down the list of google’s rickson sites.

    The next site we found the mystical source of the 400-0 record. Our eyes were ablaze. There it was, a bio on Rickson.

    “Rickson is a 7th Degree Black Belt Open Class Champion of the Gracie Family, whose technique is considered to be the finest expression of Jiu-Jitsu in the world. His innate talent and early mastery of the sport have resulted in an impeccable undefeated record in more than 400 fights, Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, free-style wrestling, Sambo, open weight free-style competitions, and no holds barred challenge matches. Rickson is a two time Brazilian Champion in free-style wrestling, a Gold Medal Winner of Sambo, and for the last sixteen years he has been the middle-heavyweight and no weight division World Jiu-Jitsu Champion. Most recently, he conquered Japan's elite fighting in a tournament, the Japan Open Vale Tudo, winning both in 1994 and 1995. At this time, Rickson was acknowledged by the Japanese for possessing the Samurai Spirit.”

    This was something to sink our hooks in on. Moving fast now, we found three more sites that referenced Rickson’s MMA career records. Ah ha!!!…but unfortunately, they all just linked right back to, where Rickson’s nine fight career is noted. A far cry from the fabled 400-0. Looking at the nine fight career, Russ, an associate of mine at work, mumbled…”who are all these Japanese no-names he beat, these guys are all lame, there ‘combined’ career MMA record is only 18-27-2 and not a single one was ever ranked in the top 30, at ANY time. What the hell is up with that? David Levicki? Yuki Noiki? Bud Smith? Yoshihisa Yamamoto? There all ‘cans’” I chuckled out loud, at the sound of a man who has watched one MMA event in his life recognizing a tomato can when he saw one. Nonetheless, we were all frustrated. 9-0 versus eight ‘cans was not that impressive, surely there was more.

    YES!” We shouted, as we found a good link.

    This page read as follows…

    ”This page attempts to record some of the more significant matches fought by legitimate professional BJJ lutadors against other styles, in the seventy year history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu”

    Since Rickson is THE most significant bjj fighter of all times, surely we would find numerous transcripts and results of his fights. This site would hold the answers we seek. Unfortunately, of Rickson’s 400 documented wins, these two 'WINS' would be the only one the site listed:

    1. Sometime in the 80’s, Rickson apparently beat up Brazilian fighting legend Hugo Duarte on some beach somewhere, location was not specified as I suppose a beach is just a beach. Could this be the same Hugo Duarte that used his face to bruise Tank Abbot’s hand back in UFC-Brazil? Then added insult to injury by bleeding all over Tanks arm?

    2. Sometime in 1980 and then again 1985, Rickson beat down a monster known only by the name of ‘Zulu’ Ahhhhhhhh…we had heard of this man. This is the first sighting of a ‘significant’ Rickson Gracie victory. YES. From what we had heard, Zulu was Brazil’s version of ‘Paul Bunyan’, a giant amongst men, 450lbs of raw muscle who shot flames out of his arse. A present day ‘Bob Sapp’ Unfortunately, backchecking Zulu’s record, very little could be found. His weight was listed at only around 220lbs and his discipline was listed as ‘no formal training’ Hmmm. Who was Zulu? After hours of searching, the best and only documented ‘anything’ on this man was that he was from the town of São Luis and his real name was ‘Rei Zulu’. To sum up a lot of nonsense, Zulu was basically the local ‘toughman’, a bully who beat up locals. His record of 140-0 was puffed up on fat, drunk American tourists and neighborhood kids. We were perplexed as to why Rickson would define his career on this man?

    Frustrated immensely, we searched over 45 more sites but more of the same. One site intereviewed Rickson, asking him his greatest fighting achievement. He listed his Pride 1 victory over Japan’s greatest fighter of all time, Nobuhiko Takada, who sported a lofty lifetime record of 2-6-2.

    Another site that had Rickson apparently had a movie review of a movie he was in.

    That was interesting until we noticed the site was ‘’. LOL at the irony of his jump into movies getting the same review as the opponents that he has taken on.

    “hey, not fair’ cried my associate Russ. We should use Rickson’s greatest movie, “choke” as a more unbiased review of his opponents. Surely an actual documentary on his fighting career will show who he beat and give footage of at least some of his 400 wins. Russ was right and I moved onto the next site....

    Unfortunately again, the site had nothing good to say about the video. The actual words in the review…

    “My biggest complaint about Choke isn't the violence, however, but the lack of competition that Gracie faces at this event. Maybe it's that Gracie is just that good instead of these other competitors being wussies, but he wins in complete squashes. That does not make for great drama”
    continued below ....

  • #2
    Originally posted by chris davis 200
    continued below ....
    The 400 fights victories as well as being undefeated is true. But it includes sport competition throughout his lifetime. Most telecasts will intentionally leave that part out.


    • #3
      Sorry here is the continuation of the article - my access kicked me off.


      ........ Note. The video apparently showcased Rickson beating down Todd Hayes who is a ‘famous’ kickboxer from Texas, who apparently won Steak and Shake's Beerfest toughman contest in 1990 and Koichiro Kimura, the Japanese heavyweight shootfighting champion. Sherdog’s fight finder said Todd had a career record of 1-0. Kimura was 1-2, but wait, this was the fight that was already listed on Sherdog. Nonetheless, Todd Hayes became documented win number 10. Moving on.

      The next 47 links all just linked up with either forum boards or video reviews of his video ‘Choke’ This type of search was going absolutely no where. Using Google as a reference, it just looked like Rickson was a good looking gay gay from the beach who made videos and beat up a black beach bum bully in 1985.

      We decide to focus our search on the original source of documents. It stated Rickson was a gold medal winner in Sambo. Onward we searched at this link.

      Apparently Rickson had competed in Sambo tournaments and this interview showed he got beat by United States sambo rookie, Ron Tripp. The interview:

      “FF In our last interview, you claim that you did not know the rules when you fought in a Sambo tournament in the U.S. against Ron Tripp, therefore it should not be considered a loss, but I see on your record that you had competed in other Sambo events prior to this.

      RG You must understand that each tournament was not the same. Not every Sambo tournament has the exact same rules. If I had known that getting thrown on your back was a loss, this would not have happened. If Mr. Tripp would like to fight NHB, I'm sure the promoters could set this up.

      Hmmm..upon further review, that tournament was not fair to Rickson. Even though he was a lifelong Sambo competitor, in this particular tournament, Rickson WANTED Tripp to toss him and slam him on his back, so that loss was not actually a ‘loss’ The 400-0 is now 400-0-1*

      Nonetheless, another person documented this mess quite accurately..

      “He(rickson) claims the rules to Sambo can vary with the tournament, and that if he had known falling on his back was a loss it wouldn't have happened. I find that a little suspect. No major sambo tournament refuses give big points [or an outright win] for a powerful hip throw that lands the opponent flat on their back. Further, there is almost always a rules review session for competitors before a competition of this size.

      It was a sambo event, in EVERY sambo event there is "total victory", an auto win if you throw a person who then land with their head at your feet while you remain standing. Ron Tripp threw Rickson with Uchimata in under a minute and Rickson landed flat on his back at Ron's feet. Supposedly the owner of century martial arts co has video of it? What does it mean? It means that Ron Tripp is a serious grappler with great skills. It means that Rickson lost to Ron Tripp under the rules of Sambo and knew the rules before hand having already done sambo many times before so no excuse.

      Hmmm. Why is Rickson lying like that? Regardless, we did find something useful from this site. The first official ‘sighting’ of a documented Rickson factual title. Apparently, back in 1977, Rickson won an actual gold medal in Sambo at the Pan Am games, at the age of 19. Unfortunately, a problem arose. There were no ‘Pan Am Games’ in 1977. They were in 1975 and 1979 and worse yet, the official site for the Pan Am games does NOT list ‘Sambo’ as an event. Freestyle, Greco and Judo are listed, but no ‘Sambo’ Very strange that Rickson would tout himself as a gold medallist at the Pan Am games when the official site of the Games does not even list his event. The link:

      Our frustrating search continued. Rickson claimed to be a two time Brazilian National Freestyle wrestling champion but that was a lost cause search. A database of Olympic and World championship qualifying teams quickly showed that he NEVER represented Brazil in either a the World Championships or the Olympics. No links could be found to verify Rickson’s claim. Perhaps the two times he won, those were the two odd years that Brazil didn’t send competitors out to compete versus the world. Convenient.

      His last claim, that he was a sixteen year middle-heavyweight and no weight division World Jiu-Jitsu Champion. Maybe this would be the holy grail. Every other search for verfiable evidence came up short, but maybe this one would be different, as jj was his specialty. There is also such as thing as the ‘Brazilian Jui-Jitsu Worlds’ too. Unfortunately, Rickson would again make things difficult. He never mentions anywhere on any of his sites the actual year he won the event. While he endlessly touts a victory against a local bully Rei Zulu, he shortchanges everyone on what might be a legitimate title he holds in JJ by not providing a single source of evidence as to what year he did this.

      Looking over this hopeless cause, reality set in. Rickson had little to nothing to verify or document any of his ‘JJ world title’ accomplishments. ‘If’ he had actually won a world JJ title, being he had nothing else on his resume, surely he would have touted and boasted of the victories. Since he was not listing the years or dates, we were left to assume that those titles were similar to the others, a figment of his imagination.

      Standing over a wasted two weeks of work, our office behind on our regular jobs, we sadly looked at each other with astonishment. How could this “muscular bodybuilder, with a Marine's crewcut, the high cheekbones of an Inca Indian and a square jaw” fool so many people for so long. How could someone with such a loyal and massive following go year after year ‘claiming Pan Am games medals, Freestyle wrestling titles, World JJ titles and an incredulous record of 400-0, without a single peep from anyone asking him to verify it? His followers recite the 400 and ‘oh’ mantra without any asking ‘where’s the win’s? Documented records from the last 10 years of his life turn up only 10 victories. The sad truth is that there is no verifiable proof of anything with this man. Time has come and gone and most records are now conveniently lost, never to be proven. Those that can be attempted to be proven, some backchecking proves the claims to be lies. Where there is one lie, others are most likely to follow. The saying, “where there is smoke, there is fire’ is appropriate here. All we can go by now is second hand heresay talk of ‘behind closed doors’ victories. Practice room beatdowns. Secret societies and endless rumormongering. Debating Rickson’s accomplishments alongside other MMA goofballs like Matt Furey.

      I’m tired and after the above two week search, not much more can be said on Rickson. The links and facts are all up there to see. Please feel free to correct or build upon what is written. At this point, after exhausting review, my opinion is that his ‘nuts’ are not worthy of being sucked.


      • #4
        akja - please see continuation.

        My aim here is nothing more than supplying interesting information on the 'greatest BJJ guy' of all time.

        He could beat the piss out of me at any time. but .... quite a good bit of research.

        Kindest Regards


        • #5

          Most things written about the Gracies are blown out of proportion either by them, or the media. The UFC was a platform for the Gracies to market their martial art... Unfortunately, we Americans love to worship what we don't fully understand. Swarms of writers have flocked to the Gracie myth and enhanced it, studying it like some caged animal. There's an article in Playboy in the 1980's stating that Rorion is the "toughest man in America." Rorion?...

          I went to Santana in Zona Norte in 1999 with my friend Alexandre Rodrigo who studed Jiu Jitsu in Curitiba. The difference is, outside of Rio, people don’t really care for jiu jitsu... Soccer is the most famous sport in Brasil... In fact, despite what the Gracies have claimed, Helio is hardly considered a national hero... Pele is the most recognized and honored hero. He seems to be on the Época all the time.

          As I’ve stated in the past, BJJ left Brasil for monetary gain. Vale Tudo isn’t nearly as famous in Brasil as it is in Japan. Sure, you can find loads of BJJ gyms in and around Rio (sometimes 5 or 6 on the same block), just like TKD gyms in the US, but it’s not a national sport. From my personal experience, capoeira seems to be more popular than BJJ. You can see street rodas with capoeira in most places, especially in Copacabana. It’s no wonder just about every BJJ instructor of noteworthy works in the United States. We love BJJ, and we pay big bucks.

          I was told in Brasil, a foreigner like myself can get a black belt in 6 months in BJJ...

          What I don’t like is the Gracies talking about other fighters without beating them... Rickson has said that world class wrestlers like Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman and others aren’t technically sound. Yet, he won’t figiht them... Nor will his brothers, which confirms what Victor Belfort has said, “that the Gracies are afraid of the real good wrestlers.”

          The highest level of MMA today is such that it doesn’t matter where you came from or what you did, iit’s how proficient you are and how tough you can be. Look at Marco Ruaz, a legend in Brasil, beaten by a Japanese wreslter, Alexander Otsuka, who was beaten by Ken Shamrock. Ze Mario "Esfiha beat Rigan Machado at the Worlds, then lost to Jeff Monson at the Pro-ams in North Carolina. Brasil is Brasil, not Pride, UFC or the rest of the world.


          • #6
            I think he's so highly regarded because he tooled around many of the top bjj fighters in the early and mid 90's, when the bjj guys were winning fights against the rest of the world easily. Guys like the Machado brothers, Enson Inoue, Royce, Renzo, Saulo Riberio, Royler, Fabio Gurgel all tout him as the best.
            During the time Royce was destroying everyone in the early UFC's, Rickson was playing around with Royce in training.
            He's been very clever at managing his career and therefore has lots of admiration and is thought to be invincible.
            People will say stuff like 'he tapped Vitor Belfort effortlessly' but that was in training when Vitor was a purple. It shouldn't imply that Rickson could step in the ring and hang with Vitor in an MMA fight.
            Compared to most guys in the bjj camp, Rickson is very strong for his weight. Renzo and Royce are about the same weight but Rickson is physically much stronger and fitter than them.
            Funaki beat a lot of the top fighters back before they reached their prime. Even so, that was a good win by Rickson. Although his takedowns and standup striking leave much to be desired noone has been any match at all for him once on the ground. And Funaki wasn't stupid about grappling either. I'd have to admit that the win over Funaki was a fine win for Rickson, after all he was 44 and Funaki was 31. And Funaki retired after that fight.

            There was a Hugo Duarte interview in Grappling Mag about four years back. Of course Hugo was out to puff himself up and said Tank had gotten really lucky and Mark Kerr fought dirty by gouging his cuts. He told the story of his two fights with Rickson. He said Rickson and his thugs accosted him when he was lying on the beach and made him fight; said he at one point had Rickson mounted in this fight but the thugs threw sand in his face and pushed him off. Eventually Rickson tapped him. Then he said he and his luta livre students decided to surprise Rickson the same way by just showing up to his school to catch him off guard. Unfortunately Hugo said that he lost the second fight too, but he didn't get into detail. So, overall, I don't think Duarte can be considered an important fighter in early MMA history.

            Frank Shamrock said that Rickson's rep was 'all just publicity and boolsheet'.
            When an interviewer asked Sakuraba about whether he really thinks Rickson fights to defend his family's honor, Sakuraba replied, "I think Rickson only fights for money". It's true, Rickson has gotten the most lucrative fighting deals for fighting tomato cans.

            I'd like to see Rickson and Ken Shamrock fight a farewell fight against each other and then for both of them to retire.


            • #7
              Great posts guys. This is my first post. I have been watching/reading at this forum for some time now. I didn't see this on the earlier post, but some of Rickson's fight record can be found at


              • #8
                Rickson beat Sperry in sport bjj and he is defenitely no tomato can. Rickson is a good fighter but lets face it he is too old to fight again. Although he is suppossed to do another NHB match it will probaly against another former legend. I do not think Rickson is a complete fake, he probaly could beat Sak in his prime in my opinion but he is old and I have no doubt the death of his son Rockson has had some effect on him. I think the best bjj fighters today are Sperry, Bustamante, De la Riva, Nog brothers, and the Gracies are also good.


                • #9
                  CKD, you keep referring to Rickson 'beating' Sperry. Please give us a link or some reference about this. I don't believe it ever happened. If you can't provide a reference please stop saying that Rickson beat Sperry. If this match happened and Rickson did win, then I apologize, but I highly doubt it.
                  I do remember Sperry choking Royler out in that absolute division match.
                  I remember reading a Rickson interview at where he said that at one time he was going to have a match with Sperry, but Carlson disapproved so it didn't happen. You wanna know why? Rickson may have been able to win but it wasn't worth the risk of shattering his perfect record.


                  • #10
                    Aside from Funaki, Rickson hasn't beaten anyone noteworthy in NHB... For someone who is supposedly the creme le la creme, his fight record consists of beating a bunch of amatuers in sport JJ or MMA. His NHB record at the professional level consists of:

                    Zulu – the town bully.

                    Hugo Duarte – Tank Abbot's biatch...

                    Yamamoto – The same guy who got knocked out in 11 secs in Pride by some newcomer from Brasil.

                    Yuki Sakai – A 5'6" 130 lb grappler who eliminated all the competition before fighting Rickson.

                    Takada – Need I say more.

                    Funaki – The only respectable fighter on Rickson's record.


                    • #11
                      Chris Davis, you are a man of few words!

                      God you rabbit on more than me!

                      I understand all your question marks about 400 fights etc

                      but is that really relevant?

                      The point is he was the best at bjja/MA before jui jitsu was on the map and recognised as a the great art that it is today.

                      He trained Royce who then firmly established JJ as it took the early UFC's by storm!

                      Royce openly admits that Rickson is far superior to him!

                      His art is the one that influences every mixed martial artist today.

                      Chris, very impressed with your article, very well wrotten and with good wit and imagination.

                      And yes he may be like the Lord in that respect as he was the light of the world which showed us the way!

                      Chris, who does that make you?

                      How do I explain 4oo fights undefeated that cant be validated,
                      ...... Rickson moves in mysterious ways!


                      • #12
                        Royce will probaly still tell you Rickson is ten times better than him than lets see. No one has ever really fought Royce and showed that they were ten times better. Even in his loss against Sakuraba Sakuraba did not seem ten times better. I will look for info on the sport match against Sperry but that was a long time ago so I will see if I can find results.


                        • #13
                          Great piece of work.


                          • #14
                            WOW WOW WOW there Choke !!!!

                            THIS ISNT MY ARTICLE! I DIDNT NOTE WRITE IT!

                            It is an interesting thread i read on another forum and thought it would be interesting to post it here!

                            Sorry if i didnt make that clear. but i thought i did!

                            My aim is to spark discussion.



                            • #15
                              I'm not sure how I feel about Rickson. Like the article says his only recorded matches are for the most part against sub-par fighters. However, when you hear all the gracies put over Rickson as the best, that means something as well.

                              Bottom line is: I want proof. Bj Penn proclaimed himself the best fighter in the world, and he's out putting that on the line. Rickson on the other hand is.... what... teaching seminars?