Chael Sonnen says that Royce Gracie and Marco Ruas were his favorite fighters

Jonathan Ferrey

Chael Sonnen said that he wanted to start fighting after watching Royce Gracie, while Marco Ruas was the one that the "American Gangster" wanted to emulate.

Although his relationship with Brazil has been far from the best until now, Chael Sonnen revealed to Globo his admiration by two Brazilians that were icons in the old times of MMA.

First was Royce Gracie. I think anyone with my age would give the same answer, maybe even the younger guys from today. But for me it was Royce Gracie. He was the one who started it all, he was the one who made us turn our heads and say: ‘wow, what is going on out here?'. One guy weighing 170 pounds beating everybody. I didn't know that could happen. The style, the way that he did it, it was all brand new stuff.

While Royce was a typical jiu-jitsu master in a one-dimensional era of the sport, the next Sonnen hero was one of the people that made everybody realize the importance of really mixing the martial arts:

My next favorite was I guy named Marco Ruas. He called himself the ‘King of the Streets'. He was a very complete fighter, particularly for that time. He could do the punching and the kicking as well as the grappling. Everything evolved from there but those were the two guys. Royce was the one that got me started and Marco Ruas was who I wanted to emulate and be like. I used to call myself a ‘vale-tudo' fighter. I didn't even know what that meant, those aren't English words, but that was what Marco Ruas called himself and that was what I wanted to be for at least ten years of my career because of him.

The origin of Marco Ruas's nickname was because the word "ruas" in Portuguese means "streets".

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker