MMA Hall of Fame: Rickson Gracie
Another legendary fighter steps in Fighting Insider's MMA Hall of Fame. From the Gracie family, a round of applause for Rickson Gracie!
Born on November 20, 1958, Rickson Gracie began competing in Jiu-Jitsu at six years old. He was only 15 when he started teaching Jiu-Jitsu, and was 18 when he received his black belt. At the age of 20, Rickson Gracie won against the famous 230-pound Brazilian brawler, Rei Zulu, where he gained national acclaim as the top freestyle fighter.
Rickson Gracie was a two-time Brazilian Champion in freestyle wrestling, Sambo Gold Medal winner, and has been the middle-heavyweight and no-weight division World Jiu-Jitsu Champion for almost 20 years. He also conquered Japan Open Vale Tudo, where he won on 1994 and 1995. Because of that, Rickson Gracie was acknowledged by the Japanese for possessing the Samurai Spirit.
He’s been teaching his martial arts style for more than two decades to various arrays of students from FBI agents to SWAT teams, Navy SEALs, Delta Force, Army Rangers, military personnel, martial artists, athletes and actors. Rickson Gracie founded the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association in 1996 to clearly present the Jiu-Jitsu system to the students.
In addition to Rickson Gracie’s 8th degree black and red belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, plus his 11-0 professional record in MMA, the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy website also claims that:
- * He has a combined record of about 460 victories in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, freestyle wrestling, Sambo and no holds barred challenge matches.
- * He is a two-time Brazilian Champion in freestyle wrestling.
- * He is a Gold Medal Winner in Sambo.
- * He trained his younger brother, Royce Gracie, for his first four fights in the UFC.