With R.N.Until the 7th edition of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world of vale-tudo was concentrated around Jiu-Jitsu and the legend of Royce Gracie, the thin Brazilian fighter that used ground techniques to submit his opponents. But the 7th edition of UFC, which took place in September of 1995, a 34 year old named Marco Ruas showed the crowd that Brazilians could also defeat their opponents on their feet.It’s difficult to forget Marco’s fifteen low kicks that broke down the ‘Polar Bear’ Paul Varelans, in the finals of UFC 7. Now, ten years after that match, Ruas is 44 years old and he is looking for a ‘farewell fight’: ‘?Well, my last combat must be special, against a great athlete from the ‘old times’. Ken Shamrock is a great example, he is very popular in the United States, it would be an excellent bout’. With a smile on his face, Marco Ruas (Pedro Rizzo?s master) shares his perspective on the last decade of vale-tudo: ‘I’m very happy to see that cross-training, something that I used to practice in the early 90’s, is totally disseminated in the MMA academies today. I remember that when I debuted in UFC, strikers athletes were totally discredited. Today, everybody practices ground techniques and punches at the same time’. Living in the States for almost 8 years (today, at a house in Laguna Niguel, California), Ruas talks about his academy in Brazil, the ‘Ruas Vale-Tudo’: ‘I needed to make money, so I left Brazil? I can’t be a full-time coach for my Brazilian athletes anymore, but I’m working as a manager for them, here in the States. Some of my pupils left the team [like Renato Babalu and Gustavo Ximu], but my relationship with Pedro Rizzo still remains the same, we are going to keep working together and it makes me very happy’. What about the ‘coconut kicks’, your hardworking training on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Ruas? ‘I don?t do it anymore’ he laughs. ?Here, in California, there are a lot of palm trees? But I don?t do those crazy kick training anymore’ The trees thank Ruas.
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