Not many fighters can say they retired undefeated. Rickson Gracie closed out his professional mixed martial arts career with a perfect 11-0 record, with all 11 of his victories resulting in finishes. After recognizing his potential at a young age, Gracie’s father, Helio, started grooming him as the next representative of the iconic Brazilian family. He did not disappoint.
Nearly two decades since Gracie’s last fight, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
4: Children. They are Rockson Gracie (deceased), Kauan Gracie, Kaulian Gracie and Kron Gracie.
8: Siblings: They are Rorion Gracie, Relson Gracie, Rolker Gracie, Royler Gracie, Royce Gracie, Rerika Gracie, Robin Gracie and Ricci Gracie.
18: Years of age when he received his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In April 1980, Gracie fought and defeated Casemiro Nascimento Martins, the 230-pound Brazilian brawler more popularly known as “Rei Zulu.” They would meet again some four years, with the same result.
20: Kilograms lighter than “Rei Zulu” at the time of their first fight. Gracie was obviously not deterred by the weight difference.
2: Unsanctioned fights with famous luta livre practitioner Hugo Duarte. Gracie reportedly won both. Their first encounter was an impromptu beach fight in Rio de Janeiro, where Gracie forced Duarte to surrender following some hard punches in the face. Soon after, Duarte stormed Gracie’s gym to demand a rematch and lost. Their animosity further intensified the rivalry between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and luta livre, even after Gracie left for the United States.
6: Fights in the Vale Tudo Japan promotion. Ten years after his last sanctioned fight, Gracie was brought in to compete in Japan, specifically in Chiba and Tokyo. He defeated Yoshinori Nishi, Dave Levicki, Bud Smith, Yoshihisa Yamamoto, Koichiro Kimura and Yuki Nakai.
2: Appearances in Pride Fighting Championships. Gracie competed at the first-ever Pride event, which took place at the Tokyo Dome on Oct. 11, 1997. He submitted the debuting Nobuhiko Takada with an armbar 4:47 into the first round. One year later, Gracie gave Takada a rematch at Pride 4. While Takada showed improvement, he once again succumbed to an armbar 9:30 into Round 1.
7: Submission wins by rear-naked choke.
2: Victories by technical knockout. Gracie struck Levicki and Smith into submission with punches.
1: Official loss in martial arts competition. Gracie lost to Ron Tripp at the 1993 United States Sambo Championships in Norman, Oklahoma. Tripp threw the Brazilian by uchi mata only 47 seconds into the match.
42: Years old at the time of his last fight. Gracie defeated Pancrase co-founder Masakatsu Funaki by rear-naked choke in 2000.
60: Years of age. Gracie was born on Nov. 21, 1958 in Rio de Janeiro.