Throwback Fight: Gracie Jiujitsu Expert Vs Bodybuilding Champion

A bodybuilder versus and Brazilian jiujitsu expert.

In the early days of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in America, the Gracie family offered an open fight challenge to the public in order to prove the effectiveness of their fighting system. One man who took them up on the offer was Lance Bachelor, a 250 Lb bodybuilder and 1992 Mr. Utah. He faced off against black belt Pedro Sauer.

The first thing to notice here is the extreme bias of the commenter, who was also the referee of the fight, and an adherent of the Gracie family. As the fight starts, the two competitors square off in flat-footed boxing stances. Pedro stars out throwing traditional Gracie side-kicks to the leg, which annoy Lance while keeping Pedro out of boxing range. It’s quickly evident that Lane has no combat training or strategy whatsoever. Not a good sign.

Realizing that the kicks will keep coming, Lance leaps in an eats a right hand to the face. Then Pedro throws a long, slow left hook, during which he leaves his chin completely exposed- not exactly the “skillful attack” the commentator declares. Even a moderately competent boxer could have KO’d Pedro by now, but Lance is befuddled.

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In desperation, Lance tackles Pedro and takes him to the ground. At that time, the Gracies were considered expert ground fighters. Their entire goal was to use particular striking and distance control to take the fight to the ground. Ideally, the Gracies liked to be on top, but they had more than enough skill on their backs for a totally untrained opponent.

Pedro immediately attempts a standard butterfly sweep which momentarily grants him top position, but Mr Utah intuitively uses his left arm as an underhook to reverse the position (unmentioned by the commentator). From here Pedro hangs on in order to avoid strikes and allow Lance to tire. Eventually, Pedro sweeps again and, despite the fact that he is immediately reversed again, the commentator praises his “effortless control.” Then Pedro executes a standard armbar, and the commentator claims that Lance taps out, though it’s unclear. Lance is definitely tired and befuddled and all the Gracie adherents cheer.

This is certainly an example of how Jiu Jitsu can be used against a bigger stronger opponent, but it is perhaps a more impressive example of the infamous “Gracie Propaganda” where victory is declared after a failed joint lock.

Check out the full fight below.

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