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OSMMA Review - 'Choke' documentary

The Old School MMA review returns as we look beyond the UFC and watch the documentary that introduced many MMA fans to the legendary Rickson Gracie.

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The Old School MMA Review is FINALLY back (how many times have we said that?) for another episode of mixed-martial arts oldies but goldies.

In this episode, The Fight Nerd and Zane Simon take a break from our usual rundown of the stone age of SEG UFC while we continue counting the votes in our OSMMA Review Awards (which will be the next episode) to look at what else was going on in the sport at the same time. To do that, we watch "Choke", one of the oldest documentary films on the subject of MMA, and was the movie that introduced the legendary mythical creature of Rickson Gracie to the world.

Released in 1999, director Robert Raphael Goodman filmed the movie in 1995. The doc follows around three fighters preparing for and competing in the Vale Tudo Japan tournament from that year - Rickson, Todd "Hollywood" Hays and Koichiro Kimura. The film is essentially broken up into one-half following the fighters, and the other half at the one-night tournament itself, which also featured UFC veteran Gerard Gordeau and Yuki Nakai in the event that would make him hugely famous in Japan.

In our first glimpse of MMA outside of the octagon, we look at what the shape of the sport was and discuss the man, the myth, the legend that is Rickson Gracie in what may be our only chance to discuss him until we get to reviewing Pride FC shows (cross 'dem fingers). We also get to wear our film analyst hats and dissect this documentary and let you know if it is worth seeing if you never saw it before.

If you want to watch the documentary, you can watch it completely right below this sentence, or grab a copy from

If you want to hear some more about this film, check out this old post I wrote about the movie that talks more about what happened to a lot of the fighters you saw in it after they appeared in the doc.

Let us know what you think of our doc review, and do not worry - the OSMMA Review will be back in full swing in 2015 with a whole new batch of shows and fresh crop of fighters heading into the dark ages of the UFC!