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ADCC, weed, rubber guard, flat earth and Joe Rogan. What comes to your mind when you hear the name Eddie Bravo? Today he is one of the most beloved and controversial figures in jiu-jitsu. People either flock to him or disagree passionately with his methods. Let's break down why Eddie gets this reaction and what makes him the most polarizing figure in the sport.
Important Reminder! Be sure to watch Eddie Bravo on the WNO podcast this Friday at 5:30 EST.
Where Did It All Start? ADCC 2003
"He's a legend, I can't believe I won...I can't believe I won." –Eddie Bravo
Eddie Bravo first made headlines after submitting jiu-jitsu legend Royler Gracie during ADCC 2003. Eddie was the underdog and shocked the world after tapping Royler with a triangle. Royler immediately disqualified Bravo's victory by calling it a fluke. Regardless of what Royler thinks, it was one of the most impressive upsets in grappling history. It was also the original spark that ignited Eddie Bravo's career and the 10th Planet empire. Let's rewind to ADCC 2003 and see the match from Joe Rogan's perspective.
Eddie's Unorthodox Jiu-Jitsu Style
Although Eddie lost to Leo Vieira in the semi-finals, his name still gained notoriety from his win over Royler. Eddie decided to step away from competition and focus on building his own affiliation. He quickly opened his first academy in LA and had unique plans for his curriculum.
"My main direction in jiu-jitsu has always been to make jiu-jitsu better in MMA." -Eddie Bravo
Traditional practitioners criticized Bravo's unorthodox approach after he decided to ditch the gi and embrace his clinch based system. While many felt that the Gracie family was leading this charge against Eddie, Rickson Gracie showed up in 2014 to dispel the rumors.
"A lot of people in the community see [Eddie] as the bad boy in jiu-jitsu. [They would say] he's talking shit, he's against us, but I never saw that. I always felt [Eddie] was trying to create his own routine." – Rickson Gracie
Weed & Jiu-Jitsu
Eddie became very vocal about his pro-marijuana stance. He was one of the first advocates who really pushed for marijuana use in jiu-jitsu. After receiving harsh backlash from conservatives, states eventually legalized weed and practitioners started crossing the picket line.
This made Eddie a prime candidate for the world's first marijuana jiu-jitsu tournament. Where Eddie was hired to serve as head referee.
"The grand prize used to get you put in jail, now its a grand prize? A pound of weed? That's pretty crazy."
The Rematch: Eddie vs Royler II
After 10 years away from competition, Eddie stirred the pot again by agreeing to a rematch with Royler. This matchup represented true Brazilian jiu-jitsu against American jiu-jitsu. Grappling fans around the world tuned in to see if the 10th planet style lived up to the hype, however it ended in a draw. During the match, Royler struggled to navigate Eddie's unorthodox system, getting his knee injured and refusing to tap. Although Royer would once again dispel Eddie's dominance, the match was later broken down on the Joe Rogan Experience.
Eddie splits the room when bringing up his wild conspiracy theories. Even close friend Joe Rogan can't follow Eddie down the "flat earth" rabbit hole. Here Eddie tells the story about how he became a believer after having a heavy stance against flat earth.
Eddie Bravo: Building An Empire
Need more Eddie? We took a deep dive into Eddie's life and created this incredible documentary series! Here's the trailer, watch all three episodes below.
Announcement! Eddie Bravo Coming On Who's #1 Podcast!
This Friday we have a special treat for you guys. Eddie Bravo will be making a guest appearance on our podcast, Who's #1. Tune in to find out what Eddie's thoughts on COVID-19, his competition history, his 10th planet family and where ever the rabbit hole might take us.