Appreciation for first Japanese to get BJJ BB

Yuki Nakai

He doesn’t get talked about enough.  

For the younger fans, if you can grasp the context of how taboo mma was in the 90’s, knowing that porn was allowed on ppv but UFC was not, senator John McCain was fighting to get mma outlawed, where some praise UFC and Dana White/Fertitta brothers for saving mma, Yuki Nakai’s name often gets left out of the conversations.

If you look at his fight record, a respectable 9-2 with 7 finishes, you will notice his last fight was a loss to Rickson Gracie.  

This happened in a tournament format that was open weight.  Nakai fought a dirty fighter and was eye gouged.  Due to facing two bigger opponents, one who fought dirty despite having a size advantage, he finished both of them but went into his 3rd fight against the bigger Rickson, with both eyes swollen.

Nakai could have opted to not fight, and get medical attention where it was determined it more than likely would have saved his eye, instead Yuki went on to fight.  He ended up losing complete vision in his right eye. 

If you are a newer mma fan and you’ve never heard that story, that’s good.  Yuki Nakai wanted it that way. 

Had he been open about his injury during that time period, he would have been made an example as to how brutal the sport of mma was.  Instead, for the love of mma, Yuki Nakai remained silent, sought no glory or sympathy. 

The man is a fucking legend if you think about it.

caposa on Twitter: "25 years today: Vale Tudo Japan '95 After being  permanently blinded by an eye gouge, legendary coach Yuki Nakai (135lb)  subs Gerard Gordeau (240lb). Despite his vision, Nakai fights

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After retiring from MMA, Nakai became interested on Brazilian jiu-jitsu, not due to his own defeat to Rickson as it is popularly believed, but to Noboru Asahi's loss to Royler Gracie in 1996. He learned it from Enson Inoue, and a year later he participated in his first BJJ tournament, the Gracie Honolulu Open hosted by Relson Gracie.

Nakai soon won the Pan American Championship on the brown belt category, and afterwards he was granted the black belt by Carlos Gracie Jr, becoming the first person from Japan to hold a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In 1997, Nakai opened the Paraestra Shooto Gym, and over time was appointed president of the Japanese Confederation of Jiu-Jitsu.

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Nakai is a legit warrior and legend. One of the toughest to ever do it.

BringBackHeadbutts - 

Yuki Nakai

He doesn’t get talked about enough.  

For the younger fans, if you can grasp the context of how taboo mma was in the 90’s, knowing that porn was allowed on ppv but UFC was not, senator John McCain was fighting to get mma outlawed, where some praise UFC and Dana White/Fertitta brothers for saving mma, Yuki Nakai’s name often gets left out of the conversations.

If you look at his fight record, a respectable 9-2 with 7 finishes, you will notice his last fight was a loss to Rickson Gracie.  

This happened in a tournament format that was open weight.  Nakai fought a dirty fighter and was eye gouged.  Due to facing two bigger opponents, one who fought dirty despite having a size advantage, he finished both of them but went into his 3rd fight against the bigger Rickson, with both eyes swollen.

Nakai could have opted to not fight, and get medical attention where it was determined it more than likely would have saved his eye, instead Yuki went on to fight.  He ended up losing complete vision in his right eye. 

If you are a newer mma fan and you’ve never heard that story, that’s good.  Yuki Nakai wanted it that way. 

Had he been open about his injury during that time period, he would have been made an example as to how brutal the sport of mma was.  Instead, for the love of mma, Yuki Nakai remained silent, sought no glory or sympathy. 

The man is a fucking legend if you think about it.

caposa on Twitter: "25 years today: Vale Tudo Japan '95 After being  permanently blinded by an eye gouge, legendary coach Yuki Nakai (135lb)  subs Gerard Gordeau (240lb). Despite his vision, Nakai fights

Fought guys literally double his size, biggest heart and skill ever. Everyone should give the doc “Choke” (on Youtube) a second look just to give Yuki his props.

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If he fought Rickson first fight, he would have won.

Rickson looked beatable that night.

e. kaye -

If he fought Rickson first fight, he would have won.

Rickson looked beatable that night.

Wow, you really think he would have beat Rickson in the 1st round of the tourny?

Even fresh, I think he would have been a 9-1 dog vs Rickson. He was so small, he would have just had no way to deal with Rickson.

Rickson looked beatable in his early fights.

IIRC in his first fight he was taking a lot of shots.

Yuki was in the zone that night and was winning despite size and injury.    Fresh he could have caught Rickson.

Rickson's stand up is not that good.   His greatest attribute on his feet was his ability to see what is coming and slip or avoid getting hit.   That night he was off and was getting hit.

e. kaye - 

Rickson looked beatable in his early fights.

IIRC in his first fight he was taking a lot of shots.

Yuki was in the zone that night and was winning despite size and injury.    Fresh he could have caught Rickson.

Rickson's stand up is not that good.   His greatest attribute on his feet was his ability to see what is coming and slip or avoid getting hit.   That night he was off and was getting hit.

I don’t remember Rickson getting hit at all. Can you be more specific or post a clip?

e. kaye -

Rickson looked beatable in his early fights.

IIRC in his first fight he was taking a lot of shots.

Yuki was in the zone that night and was winning despite size and injury.    Fresh he could have caught Rickson.

Rickson's stand up is not that good.   His greatest attribute on his feet was his ability to see what is coming and slip or avoid getting hit.   That night he was off and was getting hit.

Yuki was in the taking damage zone that night in both the semis and the quarters.

Even if Nakai hit Rickson.... what would his shots do to Rickson... not much.

I'd say most people would agree with me fresh Rickson would be at least a 9-1 fav over fresh Nakai.

That being said, its ancient history so we will never know, I've just never of anyone say they thought Nakai could have had anything for Rickson.

e. kaye - 

Rickson looked beatable in his early fights.

IIRC in his first fight he was taking a lot of shots.

Yuki was in the zone that night and was winning despite size and injury.    Fresh he could have caught Rickson.

Rickson's stand up is not that good.   His greatest attribute on his feet was his ability to see what is coming and slip or avoid getting hit.   That night he was off and was getting hit.

Nakai was nowhere near Rickson’s level. Rickson actually took it easy on Nakai because he felt bad for the guy. Fresh or not, Rickson would of destroyed him either way.

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Great thread OP

EKPOGI - 

Great thread OP

Ty sir

e. kaye -

Rickson looked beatable in his early fights.

IIRC in his first fight he was taking a lot of shots.

Yuki was in the zone that night and was winning despite size and injury.    Fresh he could have caught Rickson.

Rickson's stand up is not that good.   His greatest attribute on his feet was his ability to see what is coming and slip or avoid getting hit.   That night he was off and was getting hit.

im a big fan of him but Rickson would have easilly beaten him every day of the week He purposely didnt punch him He was bigger stronger and better not even close

Phenom thread.

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Winston Wolf - 
e. kaye -

Rickson looked beatable in his early fights.

IIRC in his first fight he was taking a lot of shots.

Yuki was in the zone that night and was winning despite size and injury.    Fresh he could have caught Rickson.

Rickson's stand up is not that good.   His greatest attribute on his feet was his ability to see what is coming and slip or avoid getting hit.   That night he was off and was getting hit.

im a big fan of him but Rickson would have easilly beaten him every day of the week He purposely didnt punch him He was bigger stronger and better not even close

I said fresh, first fight.   By the time they fought Yuki was half dead with one eye.

He displayed more guts and determination that night than I have ever seen.

Legend

Nakai's performance was one of the most courageous in fighting history.