In 2003, The ADCC Submission Grappling World Championships took their event out of the middle east, presenting the 2 day competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Legendary Royler Gracie was already a 3x champion, and now he had home field advantage. What followed however was simply the most shocking moment in the history of the ADCC, and it hasn’t been matched since, as Gracie tapped out to triangle choke by Eddie Bravo. I was a judge for this bout, and it so quiet in the arena when Gracie tapped, you could hear a pin drop.
Here is the bout in it’s entirety :
The Abu Dhabi Combat Club has been sponsoring the world’s most prestigious grappling tournament since 1998. Since the beginning, the event has attracted a huge number of cross over stars who had active MMA careers. Millions of dollars have been spent on prize money, sponsorhips, plane tickets and just making the tournament work. Advertising and promotion are really word of mouth, it would be a site to see if it were advertised properly, but that is the subject for a different blog.
Looking back at the match after many years, I must say my original impressions are the same. Eddie Bravo has never gotten enough credit for this win. He was fearless, he was technical and he never gave up. It is a shame he never really competed at the world level again.
I remember the moment Bravo finally pulls his foot down and closes the triangle. Gracie seems to panic a bit, and he tries to pull his head out, and falls and lands sitting on his butt. He is now officially in trouble. He struggles a bit in the hold, but Bravo stays with it and Gracie winds up tapping out gently on Bravo’s face.
The scene immediately after will always remain engrained in my mind. The only sound you can hear is Joe Rogan, Bravo’s friend screaming in amazement and encouragement.
Gracie, freed from the hold, kneels on the mat. He mouths ‘filho de puta’. ”Son of a whore” is the literal translation. In the audience, Royler’s legendary father Helio Gracie rises with his family and silently leave the arena. The iconic Gracie founder Helio had seen enough.
It is the biggest moment in the biggest grappling tournament, and well worth lookiing at. Enjoy!