Retro Recommendations: Renzo Gracie vs. Oleg Taktarov

Shawn Smith, my colleague here at contributed an article this week talking about the ‘Aura of Invincibility’ and in this wacky sport that we all adore no family has had this more than the Gracie family. Before Kazushi Sakuraba beat UFC icon Royce Gracie at his own game, dragging him into the deep waters and forcing him to quit, fans believed if your surname was Gracie you could beat anybody.

And they were given good reason to believe so too — For years the Gracie family had been the sole rulers of Vale Tudo. Bare-knuckle bash-up derbies to determine who was the best fighters that dared to compete on Brazilian soils, sometimes underneath tents like a traveling circus.

When Renzo Gracie met Oleg Taktarov in November of 1996 Rickson had conquered Japan and Royce was the biggest name in the virgining sport in North America and Renzo was just another carrying the torch.

His opponent, Taktarov was a UFC 6 tournament king and one of the early fan-favorites of the sport that doesn’t own a clear glass trophy. The Russian was 10-3-2 at the point having met “Tank” Abbott, Dan Seven and Ken Shamrock.

Oh yeah, before you click that link and start watching some vintage fight footage, you know the butt scoot right? You know the one. When a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylist is on his back and wants his opponent to enter his guard but their opponent backs away until every drunken boozehond in the arena throws garbage towards the cage or the referee forces the fight to resume standing.

That’s never effective right? Wrong.


Follow @justinfauxmma on Twitter and keep up with the latest news by following @MMASucka on Twitter and on Facebook


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here