11 Facts About Vale Tudo


Vale Tudo, known No Holds Barred in the United States, is an unarmed, full-contact combat sport with relatively few rules.

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For years "Vale Tudo" was used as a synonym for MMA in Brazil, but the term fell into disuse due to the emergence of stricter rules and the influence of the media to have a more "civilized" name.

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Vale Tudo initially started as an informal ruleset for fighters from different martial arts to fight each other.

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Many fighters eventually started to train specifically for Vale Tudo events, mixing striking and grappling, eventually advertising "Vale Tudo" as its own standalone style.

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The Gracie family, which had origins in the circus business, devised the "Gracie Challenge", where they would invite or be challenged by opponents from other martial arts to a Vale Tudo match prove the effectiveness of their Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

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From 1960 onwards, Vale Tudo remained mostly an underground subculture, with most fights taking place in martial arts dojos or small gymnasiums.

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The Vale Tudo subculture was based in Rio de Janeiro, but many fights took place in the northern region, the southern region and the Bahia state, where Capoeira is prevalent.

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Some noteworthy promotions of this time in Brazil include Universal Vale Tudo Fighting, Brazilian Vale Tudo Fighting, Brazil Open, Super Challenge and Mo Team League.

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Vale Tudo would receive the name No Holds Barred in the United States.

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However, after the state of Sao Paulo prohibited Vale Tudo from being a sanctioned sport, both promotions went into decline and have not staged an event since 2002.

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Vale Tudo events are still taking place in small numbers around Brazil.

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