Rickson Gracie

Considered by many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu figures such as Ricardo Arona, Demian Maia, Paulo Filho and many others as the Greatest BJJ practitioner of all time, Rickson Gracie is also the son of Master Helio Gracie. Through several Vale-Tudo (No Holds Barred) fights in his native Brazil and in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s decades, Rickson Gracie helped put his family trade (Gracie Jiu Jitsu/BJJ) on the map as a legitimate and well known fighting style. Rickson Gracie also became a star in the MMA community after the release of the fantastic documentary: Choke.

Rickson Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Rickson Gracie

Nickname: “Urso”/Bear, though this is not used, Pedro Sauer (a Rickson Gracie black belt) stated on more then one occasion that Rickson’s father, Helio Gracie, used to call him the bear when training due to his strength and overwhelming fighting style.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rickson Gracie

Main Achievements (BJJ/ MMA/ Grappling):

  • Unbeaten in BJJ Competition
  • Unbeaten in MMA 11-0

Common myth is that Rickson’s record is of 400-0.That is including all competitions (BJJ, Judo, Sambo and MMA and closed doors No-Holds-Barred fights – common of the early 80’s Jiu Jitsu era in Brazil) in which he was involved. However that record can be disputed since there is at least one loss recorded in sport Sambo (by points – throw) against Ron Tripp.

Favourite Position/Technique: Good overall game

Weight Division: Peso Medio (82kg-181lbs)

Association/Team: Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Rickson Gracie Biography

Rickson Gracie was born in November 20, 1958 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rickson is one of the 9 sons of Jiu Jitsu Grandmaster Helio Gracie (in order: Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, Royce, Rerika, Robin, Ricci), spending most of his youth on the mats. Seeing Rickson’s potential from an early age, Helio prepared his son and raised him to be the next family representative in the fighting world, following his predecessors paths, people like his father, his cousin Carlson (the family representative in the 1950′s and 1960′s) and his other cousin Rolls (in the 1970′s). Always considering himself of being a Gracie Jiu Jitsu practitioner and not a Vale-Tudo/MMA fighter, he took pride on the fact that he did not cross train in other martial arts in order to compete against the best.

In 1980 Waldemar Santana, the man who had defeated Rickson’s father – Helio Gracie – on an historic no holds barred event, and with whom he later regained contact with, asked if the Gracie’s had anyone in their class that could challenge Rei Zulu (Santana’s student). Zulu was a huge fighter with incredible athletic ability and was undefeated in his NHB record. No one else wanted to fight him in Brazil and Waldemar who was Zulu’s promoter and instructor was finding it very hard to find matches for his fighter.

Rolls Gracie, the family’s star stud jumped on the occasion of fighting Zulu, but Helio had other plans, his own son. Rickson was 18 years old at the time and weighed around 20kg less then Zulu, but he accepted his dad’s decision and fought. The fight was in Brasilia under Rei Zulu’s home crowd and Rickson didn’t feel 100%. Carlos Gracie, a firm believer in spiritualism and Aura, asked Rickson not to fight as he didn’t feel this was his fight to win. But staying truthful to his father he did not quit and went along with it. The fight was long and hard, but Rickson finished it with a Mata Leao (RNC). Rickson later said he felt dizzy the whole fight, dizziness which was attributed to the change of air in Brasilia (much dryer then the Rio de Janeiro air he was used to).

Rickson’s second fight was four years later and again against Rei Zulu (Zulu King), Rickson had no quarrel with “Zulu” but after some harsh words from the man of Brasilia the fight was agreed, this time at the Maracanãzinho, a venue that held up to 40,000 seats (which filled up completely for the fight). The battle was a tremendous war and again Rickson was victorious by choke.

In 1994 Rickson was invited to compete in Japan, seeing an excellent way to promote his family’s legacy outside Brazil he accepted. The 8 men tournament was named “Vale Tudo Japan 1994″ and Rickson Gracie was a success, submitting all of his opponents in one night. He continued making a career of fighting in Japan winning several more fights (all by submission) and keeping his record unblemished. Rickson Gracie’s last fight was meant to be against the man who had defeated every Gracie family member he had battled, Kasushi Sakuraba was his name but he was also known as “The Gracie Hunter”. Rickson agreed to fight against Sakuraba but tragedy struck the Gracie clan as Rickson’s own son, Rockson Gracie, passed away due to drug use. Rickson was devastated after this and stopped training all together for an extended period. He never competed again, but he restarted training and teaching, especially to carry on the family tradition and make his other son, Kron a Gracie super star in the grappling world (mission accomplished).

Rickson Gracie vs Peixotinho

Rickson Gracie vs Rigan Machado

Rickson v Zulu 2nd Fight

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Comments (23)

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  1. Ask Rickson says:

    He has been submitted, just to chicken to admit it.. Rickson Gracie is the biggest liar and fraud in the martial arts, no exaggeration. A real man would have admitted his defeat and disclosed all of his fights.

  2. Rickson never submitted says:

    Who submitted him as a blackbelt? No one has ever come forward. Fabio Gurgel, one of the greatest jiu-jitsu competitors of all time, says Rickson was the best. You’re just another hater.

  3. Tartaruga says:

    Have you seem any top competitor saying something against Rickson ? Fabio Gurgel the official leader of Alliance , probably the strongest bjj team today, sad a few years ago Rickson was two steps away of any other practitioner in the whole world.
    Anyone who have ever learned how to do an armbar and a rear naked choke deserves all respect to the Gracie family!

  4. ShaiL says:

    Idiots can safely poke a caged Lion with a stick, they will always have something to say about the Lion, without knowing that he is the Supreme King of the Jungle. Would they ever fight him in the cage or let him out? When an Elephant passes by a street, dogs always bark, that's all they can do. Rickson Gracie is the Greatest fighter that ever Lived since Bruce Lee. Rickson Gracie- The Invincible King of Mixed Martial Arts.

  5. Ask Rickson says:

    In the early 90's I challenged Rickson Gracie to fight the toughest guy in prison, in Hawaii. Rickson said that he was knocked out by the SECOND toughest guy, because the first guy was shot by the guards.

  6. Mike Ballenger says:

    Rerika and Ricci
    Are Helio's daughters not sons… just clarifying.

  7. Fernando Silva says:

    I will not say he's a fraud, but I can say he's a liar. He's record is not real, his father – Grandmaster Helio Gracie – says it's fake, when asked about Rickson's record he said something like "It's ridiculous, if I would count the rolls during practice like he does I would have over a thousand wins". His cousin – Grandmaster Carlson Gracie – said in a TV interview even as black belts his brother Rolls would do whatever he wanted with Rickson on the mat, throwing him like a dummy around the tatami, he also said that sometimes during practice he had to say things like "Rolls, calm down, you know the old man (talking about their uncle Grandmaster Helio) don't like when you do that to Rickson". So yeah, his record is pretty much fake, he counted the "wins" during practice as a fight and just ignored the losses, he even ignored an official loss saying he didn't know the rules… He's a liar, his record is fake and you have to be an idiot to believe in it.

    I'm not saying he's not a jiu-jitsu legend, he's one of the most important guys in the history of BJJ and his skills are just amazing. My Master here in Brasil had the opportunity to roll with him and he – who have been a black belt for almost 20 years – said that he felt like a white belt during his first months of training, he said that just by changing the grip on the collar or moving a foot a few inches he would throw him off balance.

    I do recognize Rickson's skills, but I do not recognize his record.

    • Rocky S says:

      fcukin Bull…. Rolls was Ricksons elder cousin and a great BJJ practioner, who trained Rickson since he was very young and shaped him into the warrior he became, as always Coaches can throw their young wards like dummies with much mastery. Rickson Gracie, like Rome was not built in a day. It wasn't Carlson who fought Rei Zulu or other greatest fighters of Rickson's era. It was the unsupassable Rickson in all Sweat and Blood. Jealousy & theories of sore losers cannot override facts. Here's the complete list of all his fights & his rivals, go ask them-

    • Reasonable says:

      Rickson would acknowledge Rolls' skills. Everyone outside of the influence of commercial GJJ knows that Carlson and Rolls brought the art from the hybrid Judo of Carlos and Helio and turned it into the BJJ that works in NHB matches. Carlson and Rolls trained Rickson to be their champ, and he was. Obviously, his record is silly as he is known to have lost matches, but my black belt instructor said that among all the Gracies he's trained with, Rickson was the most calm, most focused, most fun and easily the most talented.

  8. RicksonFixedFGracie says:

    Theres no such thing as "Talent" in grappling. You are either knowledgeable of techniques or you simply do not know techniques. I do not believe that Rickson is any more knowledgeable than any other blackbelt in BJJ if they have retained the same techniques in their mind. Rickson is different than everyone else is because he is Helio's son. Relson Gracie told me that the Gracies have "Fixed all their fights so that they would win." I believe that Rickson Gracie enjoys this man on man worship that he gets by telling people that he is "Undefeated." I'll let the cat out of the bag right now. Rickson Gracie has been defeated and the FBI has the videos of these fights. (OF Rickson Gracie being choked out and tapping)

    • Reno says:

      FBI huh? Please do tell why the FBI showed you these videos? Also, where are these videos for the rest of the world to see?

      • bjjheroes says:

        It's all a conspiracy, the FBI wanted to hide the fact that Rickson could be defeated so the aliens could not find out that our earthly champion could be defeated. Rickson is the only thing that is keeping the aliens at bay.

        • RicksonFixedFGracie says:

          bjjheroes you've taken your Rickson Gracie worship to another level! I on the other hand am serious. And Reno no, Rickson showed me this video. The video has the technique breaking Rickson Gracie's arm, made him pee his GI, then he started tapping. This is why i'll never have an idol, Rickson is just some guy saying hes "undefeated" because he likes the attention. This is why hes so popular, he lies for the man on man worship. You cant say things like "The FBI has this video" and it not be true.

          This video may come out and I hope it does. All these Gracie worshipers will probably cry and say "OMG noooo, Rickson! Youre still undefeated in my heart!"

          OMG! LoL What kind of man gets people to worship lies? A man is only as good as his word.

  9. sohael says:

    i only worship Allah , having said that, every man deserves credit for his achievements and instead of arguing about the achievements of others, it would be more productive for us to try and achieve ourselves.

    • Reality says:

      One man's achievement (Honorable) is another man's makeup (A dishonor to them-self) that they use to arrogantly beautify themselves. (Cake on makeup) (Attention Whore)

  10. Team F&V says:

    Rickson has lost more than once.these came by way of the one and only Renato Laranja-27x Mundial champion-100x favela gi and no gi champion.

  11. RGWNCBBYKH says:

    Has it crossed anyone's mind that Rickson Gracie is not undefeated and is lying to a lot of people?

  12. Doombag says:

    Rickson Gracie is an amazing martial artist. I have had the pleasure to roll with a Relson Gracie black belt who is one of only 52 black belts ever awarded by Relson at this time (the Gracies only give black belts when the recipient is deemed an expert). These guys are true martial artists in that they respect the spirit of Budo and I have always found them to be gracious and accommodating. But they will not hesitate to accept a challenge to the chagrin of “traditional” martial artists who claim they only use their skills when attacked during a life or death struggle – and that they will only then unleash their torrent of deadly skills. Give me a break. Go ask Rickson (or Relson) for a friendly lesson and they are happy to oblige. There is no need to be angry or overly aggressive. Just see what you think when they sit down on the mat and calmly wait. The first time I rolled with the Relson black belt he arm barred me in all of 4 seconds. I tried again and got triangle choked. Soon thereafter he would protect both sides of his neck with his hands and I could do nothing. I left knowing he was only playing and we both knew that I was of no match to him. Now I know I am pretty good at grappling as I can usually over power most people. But this was Ridiculous. I am devoting myself to continue learning GJJ. I encourage everyone here that thinks they know enough to bash this art to ask themselves one question? How would I do against a real GJJ black belt? If u have never had a friendly “roll” with one then you cannot answer. Therefore if u want an answer then go ask for a free lesson. This is the only way to find out. Good luck. And I know Rickson did not really have 400 fights but I have yet to ever hear of anyone that could beat him – and that is a fact. Oh yeah, the braggarts and nuances of being a young bad ass in martial arts first family and lo Rickson succumb to exaggerate – especially when it was not necessary. Ursa and The Shark will show you the way – just ask them and your eyes will behold the light.

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