Marco Ruas also known by the alias “The King of the Streets” has a 7th degree black belt in Luta Livre, a bjj black belt, a judo black belt as well as teakwondo capoeira and muay thai rankings. He was also the champion of UFC 7 Tournament.
Two Luta Livre black belts, Marco Ruas and Eugenio Tadeu were promoted straight to BJJ black belt by Joe Moreira. This was met with a lot of criticism at the time, notably from Carlson Gracie.
You can watch part of the debate in portuguese below:
BJJ Heroes tells the story:
During his time with the UFC Moreira met Marco Ruas, a luta livre (a form of Brazilian Wrestling) fighter who had grown up in the same neighborhood as Joe (Leme in Rio de Janeiro). Ruas asked moreira if he needed training partners and Moreira agreed, from that 28 day training camp, their friendship grew and never broke since.
Marco Ruas also introduced another Luta Livre fighter to Joe Moreira, Eugenio Tadeu. Both Ruas and Tadeu had a long history of rivalry against Jiu Jitsu and it’s fighters in the battle for the dominance of Martial Arts in Brazil in the late 80’s and early 1990’s. Even though that rivalry was still pretty much alive, Moreira (maybe recognizing his friend’s technical hability) handed them their black belts in Jiu Jitsu, causing an uproar of criticism from the BJJ community at the time.
Yet the coveted spot in the UFC Hall of Fame evades him. In the UFC Hall of Fame are:
- Royce Gracie.
- Ken Shamrock.
- Dan Severn.
- Randy Couture.
- Mark Coleman.
- Chuck Liddell.
- Matt Hughes.
- Tito Ortiz.
- Pat Miletich
- Bas Rutten
- Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
- Don Frye
- Maurice Smith
But more are also inducted judging by their contributions and even a few modern day fighters such as the recently retired Uriah Faber.
Ruas told flocombat:
“They’re calling the guys from the old times, from the beginning”, Ruas said. “They put Don Frye (into the Hall of Fame), who deserved it, and now Maurice Smith. I don’t know. He deserves it, he was a champion, too, I just think he was not the pioneer of it. I was the first to demonstrate other techniques, I did it before him, but okay, the guy deserves it, he was a champion, we already fought and he beat me.”
“I think there’s politics”, Ruas claimed. “They’re Americans, it’s a clique, it’s not a fan vote. It’s the UFC, they choose who they’re going to add. The Americans want the event for them to be the champions, to have more belts and to be the best.”
Ruas said. “In my time, it was jiu-jitsu. I battled that much earlier — in 1984, I faced (Gracie student Fernando) Pinduka, already thinking that jiu-jitsu was not the only way to win a fight. I always trained other things (as well): wrestling, muay thai, boxing.”