In 1980, Rickson Gracie, Hélio Gracie’s third biological son, faced Rei Zulu in his first ever vale tudo match. The fight lasted 12 minutes. Zulu tossed Rickson out of the ring three times. For most of the fight, Zulu, who was much bigger, manhandled Rickson. Legend says Zulu faced and beat over 100 men before facing Rickson. Rickson was exhausted at the end of the first round, telling his father, Hélio, this news. He was tired and unsure if he could continue. His father and coach didn’t hear this. His brother, Rolls, saw the impending disaster and dumped a bucket of ice on Rickson’s head to wake him up. He did, caught grip of himself, and was able to get a rear-naked choke finish in the second round.
April 24, 2020 (updated March 24, 2021) Published by Tim Martin