The great Rickson Gracie claimed to have been unbeaten in BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, challenge matches, Judo and vale tudo fights with 400-0 record has been disputed by many people.
Now Rickson Gracie has said that’s it’s actually 450-0… In fact, he said it’s fair to double that figure.
Gracie said on a recent episode of Brazilian podcast Trocação Franca:
“Every seminar I did at the time, 100, 50, 40, 30, 20 seminars, at the end of the six-hour seminars, I’d submit everybody. I did a training [session]. ‘Who wants to train?’ Everybody wanted to. I submitted everybody, one after the other. And every tournament I entered after I turned 18, weight class or openweight division, I submitted every match I had and never lost. I entered luta livre tournaments back when Rolles was excited about it, I never lost either.
“Sambo tournaments in Brazil and in the United States, I also never lost. Street fights against guys that were really tough, professionals, or street fights with surfers … fights with luta livre guys, jiu-jitsu tournaments, seminars, any other situation — every time I faced an opponent, he was submitted. I never won by points. And counting very superficially, it’s at least 450 fights, so I set that as my record.”
“I never fought MMA in my life,” he continued. “I fought vale tudo. All my MMA fights had rounds, sometimes 10-minute, sometimes 15-minute, sometimes five-minute rounds, but an undetermined number of rounds until someone lost. There was no other rule to determine the winner. There was no judge to raise someone’s hand after a certain point. Someone would win a fight. And that’s not the MMA rule.
“That  number, I think it’s at least that. You can double that and it’s hard for people to deny. If you saw it, you saw it. If you haven’t, there’s no YouTube that goes back that much, unfortunately.”
“I can’t leave out the two fights I had with Hugo Duarte, for example, a great fighter I fought once at the beach and another time in the gym,” Gracie said. “That’s not [an official fight] but I can’t leave out such a tough professional like him as one of the times I put myself as a test out there. I’ve successfully shown my jiu-jitsu several times. And as for the exact number, on paper, I think I’d be satisfied with at least 450 [fights]. However, you can say 1,000, no problem. I’d be more satisfied.”
Rickson like many other Gracies cross trained in other grappling arts with his brother Rolls who tried to integrate the Brazilian national wrestling team with the goal of to competing at the Moscow Olympics but was unsuccessful. in 1980, a Gracie team which consisted of Rolls, Carlos Jr, Rickson, Maurico Motta Gomes (Roger Gracie’s dad) and Marcio Stambowsky (Neiman Gracie’s dad) participated in the wrestling Pan Ams. Rolls came third and most of the Gracies medaled.
Rickson’s older brother Relson Gracie was asked a few years ago by Tatame magazine what he thought about his brother controversial 400-0 fight record.
It’s not that I think it isn’t true. Rickson had these fights without a doubt. He had fights in gyms, challenges. We know he’s got some 13 fights in Japan Vale Tudo and two with Zulu. The Hugo Duarte one was a fight, but he has 400 street fights. He included the fights of Sambo, included training in the academy, championship, which they call a fight, but they are not fighting, they are training. Fights were 14 or 15 in Japan Vale Tudo, and a couple more in Brazil. He made two with Zulu and a 14 in Japan that were considered fights in the arena. The rest is all practice. It’s what my father said. I’m not saying that Rickson did not have the 400 fights, he had the 400, but in this kind of fight, my father had 5000. My father had a much larger market to prove. My father did more tests than Rickson did!
Helio Gracie also disputed Rickson’s claim to have had over 400 fights. According to Hélio, Rickson has only competed in fights that are commonly known and reported: the two against Rei Zulu and those that took place in Japan. Helio Gracie alleged that Rickson uses practice and amateur bouts to obtain a number over 400, and that if he counted his fights like Rickson does, he would have in excess of one million.
At the 1993 U.S. Sambo Championships in Norman, Oklahoma, Rickson Gracie faced World Sambo Champion Ron Tripp. Tripp threw Gracie to the canvas by “Uchi mata” in 47 seconds, thus giving Tripp “absolute” victory under FIAS International Sambo rules. Rickson disputed this loss, claiming he was misinformed of the rules of the event despite claiming to be a 2 time Pan American Sambo Champion.
Ron Tripp is a World Sambo and Judo champion and the current general secretary of USA Judo. He is also a member of the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee.