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Old 10-03-2013, 07:47 PM
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Default Remembering Helio Gracie

From MMAFighting.com (by Guilherme Cruz):
Helio Gracie, the godfather of jiu-jitsu, would have turned 100 years old Tuesday if he was alive, and many still don’t know about the battles he fought inside the ring.

Helio Gracie learned jiu-jitsu with his brother Carlos Gracie, and was one of those responsible for what we have today in MMA. He always accepted the challenges presented in Vale-Tudo – the way MMA was called in Brazil in the past – and we remember his 17 fights below.

Helio Gracie’s first fight took place in Colyseu Intenacional in 1932 against national boxing champion Antonio Portugal. Gracie quickly took him down and finished the bout with arm-lock in 40 seconds. He returned to the ring months later against judo specialist Takashi Namiki, but the fight was declared a draw after 10 10-minute rounds. Gracie asked for another bout, but Namiki declined.

In November of 1932, Gracie fought again against Fred Ebert, a 205-pound wrestler, at Sao Cristovao Atletico Clube in Rio de Janeiro. Gracie weighted 138 pounds at that time and fought Ebert for one hour and 40 minutes, but the boxing commission called the police to end the event because "it was too violent".

Two years later, the Brazilian fought Japanese grappler Taro Mysaki for 22 minutes, choking him out from the mount. Gracie fought 260-pounder Wladek Zbyszko on 1934, but the fight was declared a draw after two rounds.

Gracie returned to the ring on 1935 for the bloodiest fight of his career. Orlando Americo da Silva was 48 pounds heavier than him, but Gracie still managed to knock him out with soccer kick after 19 minutes of combat. "It was my most violent fight," Helio told Reila Gracie on her book about Carlos Gracie, "but I won."

Gracie fought again later that year against Yassuiti Ono. The Japanese fighter entered the arena saying he could defeat five members of the Gracie family in one night, and he almost submitted Helio in the first round with an arm-lock. Ono took Gracie down repeatedly, but neither one could finish the bout. After 10