Helio Gracie. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
Helio Gracie, the famous patriarch of the Gracie family and the essential father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has passed away in his native Brazil at the age of 95.
According to a report on Sherdog.com, Gracie passed away in his sleep at a hospital in Itaipaiva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was admitted over the weekend after complaining of stomach problems. The grappling legend will reportedly be buried later today.
Gracie, helped mold the modern art of jiu-jitsu, using his small stature to perfect techniques that would allow those of any size to be able to hold their own against a larger opponent on the ground. He was the father of Rorion and Royce Gracie, who both helped found and develop the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as well as Rickson, who went undefeated in professional mixed martial arts competition during his career.
Everyone here at MMA on Tap would like to extend our condolences to the Gracie family during this obviously difficult time. The MMA community has lost one of its most beloved figures.