This week’s “Before They Were Stars” segment features the Big Dog himself… Ricardo “Cachorrao” Almeida. This Renzo Gracie black belt has accomplished a lot in both his BJJ and MMA careers.

The below video is a classic! You guys might have to help me out on this one… if my memory serves me correctly, this superfight between Ricardo and Francisco Neto (Yamasaki Academy) took place at a Grappler’s Quest competition in 2001. At that time, the rivalry between the Renzo Gracie Academy and the Yamasaki Academy was just as strong as the rivalry between RGA and Alliance NYC (see Matt Serra vs. Babs Olusanmokun).

I love these old matches, because they bring me back to when I was there as a white belt. Eighty percent of the gym was filled with wanna-be bad asses (white belts… me included), eighteen percent were bad asses (blue belts) and the remaining two percent were gods (purple belt and above).  Additionally, when you get a high level match like this, everyone was silent… like you were at Wimbledon.

Enjoy the match!


This technique is Ricardo’s famous arm in guillotine. He defeated Nate Marquardt to win the King of Pancrase with this choke.