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Gerard Gordeau (born March 30, 1956) is a Dutch former savateur, karateka, and mixed martial artist. He is the 1991 World Champion Savate and holder of the Dutch Champion Kyokushin Karate title for 8 consecutive years, but foremost known internationally for his fight against Teila Tuli in the first televised Ultimate Fighting Championship bout on 12 November 1993.

Gerard Gordeau
Yukinakai-gordeau.jpg
Born (1956-03-30) March 30, 1956 (age 63)
Den Haag, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight216 lb (98 kg; 15.4 st)
StyleSavate
TeamDojo Kamakura
Rank
9th dan Kyokushin Karate (International Budokai)

4th dan Kyokushin Karate (NKA)
7th dan Sei Budo Kai
2nd dan Full-Contact Karate (USA)
3rd Silver glove in Savate (Boxe Francaise)

4th dan Oyama Karate
Mixed martial arts record
Total4
Wins2
By knockout2
Losses2
By submission2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: November 27, 2016

Early lifeEdit

The second of six brothers, Gordeau lost his father when he was 11 and was forced to leave school in order to work for an income.[1] He took up karate by influencie of an Indonesian friend whose house Gordeau used to eat. Initially seeing it as just a hobby, Gordeau decided to train seriously after challenging and losing to an unassuming Japanese partner. After a year of train in several dojos, he sparred again with him and this time Gordeau won.[1] Thanks to those skills, he held jobs as a bouncer for eight years.[2] Due to the high criminality of the Dutch districts, he would reveal years later that he lived through constant danger of death.[1]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

After turning professional, Gordeau joined the Kyokushin school and competed at the World Open Karate Championships. Later in his life, following the ideas of Kyokushin founder Mas Oyama, he trained in amateur wrestling and boxing in an attempt to make his style more complete.[1] He also learned kickboxing, savate[3][4] and judo.[2][5] Gordeau was a Dutch Karate Champion from 1978 to 1985, a European Savate Champion from 1988 to 1991 and a World Savate Champion in 1992, with an overall competitive record of 27-4 before his MMA debut.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

In 1993, Gordeau was scouted to take part in UFC 1, the first event of Ultimate Fighting Championship. The event's organizers had sought several high-level fighters in Holland, among them kickboxing champion Ernesto Hoost,[6] but Gordeau was the only available and willing to do it. As he had been a savate champion the previous year, he was billed solely as a savate artist.[1] According to him, he was initially pitted against Royce Gracie in the first round of the tournament, but when the organizers found out that Gordeau had fought in Japan, they changed the matchup: Gracie would fight boxer Art Jimmerson instead, while Gordeau would face 400 pound sumo wrestler Teila Tuli on the opposite side of the bracket.[1][2]

In his first bout, also the first televised match in the history of UFC, Gordeau defeated Tuli in a fight that lasted only 26 seconds. When Tuli charged towards him with a tsukidashi attack, Gordeau eluded his opponent and allowed the sumo to crash against the cage wall.[7] The Dutchman then took stance and threw a right roundhouse kick to Tuli's face,[8][9][10] following with a right uppercut that cut Tuli's eye,[7] before the referee intervened to stop the match.[3][11]

Victorious, Gordeau advanced to the next round, although the bout left him injured, as the kick had knocked out three of Tuli's teeth and two of them had been stuck in Gordeau's foot. The announcers claimed that the third tooth landed underneath their table, although other reports say it landed on the crowd.[7][10] Doctors attended him but, not wanting Gordeau to have an open wound, and having determined that it would get infected if they tried to extract the teeth, they simply taped his foot.[8] Gordeau's punch had broken his hand as well, and he came to the next fight with a noticeably swollen fist.[2]

In an unrelated matter, Gordeau's debut caused a minor controversy because he appeared to do a Roman salute before the match, gaining him accusations of being a neo-nazi, but it was explained that he was actually doing the traditional savate salute. Gordeau has, in fact, a Jewish ethnic background by his father having been a Jewish man from France. His grandfather was also shot at the Amersfoort concentration camp for being part of the Dutch resistance.[12][13][14]

His next fight was against kickboxing champion Kevin Rosier, who outweighed Gordeau again by almost 100 pounds and was in slightly better health. Still, Gordeau dominated the fight easily, driving Rosier against the fence with multiple leg kicks and jabs while keeping distance. After half a minute of harassment, Gordeau pushed Rosier down to the mat with knee and elbow strikes to the head, forcing him to cover down shielding his face,[7] and then finished him with two stomps to the liver.[3][2]

Finally, the Dutchman faced Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist Royce Gracie in the championship bout. During the fight, Royce attempted a double leg takedown followed by a kosoto gake, but Gordeau blocked them and clamped to the cage wall to avoid being taken down.[2][7] However, Gracie eventually repeated the throw and floored the Dutchman. According to Gordeau, Royce had been warned by the UFC doctors about his injuries and took advantage of this to overpower him.[2] While Gordeau was under Gracie's mount, he allegedly bit Gracie's ear in an intentional foul,[15] but Gracie, after landing some palm strikes and headbutts,[7] still managed to submit Gordeau with a rear naked choke to win the fight and the tournament. The Brazilian also held the choke for a long time after Gerard's tap out in retaliation for the foul play.[2]

Gordeau later justified his illegal attack as, "If you go down, you might as well give him something to remember you by," but he also commended Gracie as the better fighter.[5] In 2012, Royce would visit Gordeau's dojo in The Hague to train, about which the Dutch fighter stated: "It was the first time after 20 years that we spoke. No hard feelings!"[5]

In 1994, Gordeau was approached to fight again in UFC 2, but he refused due to disagreements over his payment after the previous event. He instead arranged for his training partners Remco Pardoel and Freek Hamaker to take his place, with him as a cornerman.[1]

Vale Tudo JapanEdit

Two years after his UFC stint, Gordeau applied to the Japanese Vale Tudo Japan tournament. He had been in the previous edition as a cornerman, helping to train fellow UFC competitor Dave Levicki for his unsuccessful match against Royce's brother Rickson.[16]

Gordeau was pitted against the much lighter shoot wrestling exponent Yuki Nakai. Taking advantage of the ring they were fighting in, Gordeau grabbed the ropes to avoid takedowns and scored several strikes on Nakai through the first two rounds, including several illegal eye gouges after Nakai was lying on a heel hook attempt. However, after a third round passed again on the ropes, Nakai scored a double leg takedown against the ring corner, escaped from a guillotine choke attempt by Gordeau, and dropped down for another heel hook, this time managing to submit the Dutchman after half an hour of fighting.[17] Refusing to seek medical attention in order to continue in the tournament, Nakai lost the sight in his right eye from the gouge.[18]

As with his fouls in UFC, Gordeau was unapologetic of his action, stating he would do it again if he rematched Nakai. Those claims attracted a great deal of criticism.[19] In 2019, however, he revealed Nakai and him had reconciled over the incident and didn't harbor ill feelings anymore.[1]

Post-retirementEdit

In 2000, Gordeau served as a consultant for women's MMA promotion ReMix, where he also cornered Marloes Coenen.[20]

Gordeau, along with his brothers Al and Nico, owns the Dojo Kamakura in The Hague. He also trained Dutch K-1 fighter Mourad Bouzidi, along with Anil Dubar, and sometimes the Romanian champion Daniel Ghiță. Famous students are Cem Senol of the Dojo Osaka Netherlands, and Robert Pepels of the Ashigaru Honbu Dojo Netherlands and founder of the Ashigaru Ryu style. Gordeau runs an International Karate Organization together with Pepels, and teaches at camps and seminars worldwide.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

UWF Newborn and RINGS (1988-1992)Edit

Gordeau had his debut in professional wrestling on August 13, 1988 in shoot style promotion UWF Newborn, losing a special match against Akira Maeda. He also competed in two bouts against Masaaki Satake and Mitsuya Nagai at "free fight" events held under RINGS.[21]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1995-1999)Edit

In 1995, he took part in New Japan Pro Wrestling's four-man Final Countdown BVD Tournament on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome during Battle 7. He lost his only match to eventual winner Antonio Inoki. Gordeau remained with Inoki as a trainer and wrestler for the Universal Fighting-Arts Organization, cornering Naoya Ogawa in several occasions.

He took part in the infamous 1.4 Incident, which occurred on January fourth, 1999 at the Tokyo Dome, where UFO member Naoya Ogawa faced Shinya Hashimoto in a pro wrestling match. Gordeau was in Ogawa's corner along with Kazunari Murakami and Tiger Mask, and when Naoya turned the bout into a shoot by brutally striking Hashimoto, who had no idea what was going on, Gerard and his colleagues had to protect Ogawa from the NJPW crew in the subsequent brawl. Gordeau later criticized Ogawa's action.[1]

Pro Wrestling Zero-One (2001-2002, 2010)Edit

Through 2001 and 2002, Gordeau participated in various Pro Wrestling Zero1 events, wrestling in singles matches against names like Shinya Hashimoto, Masato Tanaka, Samoa Joe and Steve Corino. He returned to the promotion in 2010 at Zero1's Yasukuni Shrine Festival, where he teamed up with his former student Ryoji Sai to defeat Munenori Sawa and Akebono.[22]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • Eight time Dutch Champion Kyokushin Karate
  • Competed at the World Championships Kyokushin Karate (1979, 1983, 1987)
  • Savate World Heavyweight Champion (1991)
  • Three time Savate European Heavyweight Champion
  • UFC 1 Tournament Runner Up (1993)

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
4 matches 2 wins 2 losses
By knockout 2 0
By submission 0 2
By decision 0 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2–2 Yuki Nakai Submission (heel hook) Vale Tudo Japan 1995 April 20, 1995 4 2:41 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 2–1 Royce Gracie Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 1 November 12, 1993 1 1:44 Denver, Colorado, United States UFC 1 Tournament Final.
Win 2–0 Kevin Rosier TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 1 November 12, 1993 1 0:59 Denver, Colorado, United States UFC 1 Tournament Semifinal.
Win 1–0 Teila Tuli TKO (head kick) UFC 1 November 12, 1993 1 0:26 Denver, Colorado, United States UFC 1 Tournament Quarterfinal. First Fight in UFC History.

Kickboxing recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 27-6   Toshiyuki Atokawa Decision K-1 Illusion 1993 Karate World Cup October 2, 1993 N/A N/A Osaka, Japan
Loss 27-5   Adam Watt KO (right back blow) K-1 Illusion September 4, 1993 2 2:07 Tokyo, Japan
Win 27-4   Jokovic TKO Savate World Championship May 25, 1991 3 0:01 Paris, France For Savate World Heavyweight Championship
Win 26-4   Simon Bienvenu KO Savate World Championship April 27, 1991 N/A N/A Toulouse, France

Karate recordEdit

Karate record
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time Record
1991-10-10 Win   Masaaki Satake Karate World Cup '91 - All Japan Karate Championship Decision (Divided) 3
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kaminoge Vol.85, Toho Publishing
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Erich Krauss (November 10, 2010). Brawl: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Mixed Martial Arts Competition. ECW Press. ISBN 155490238X.
  3. ^ a b c Scott Newman (2005-07-06). "MMA Review: #50: UFC 1: The Beginning". The Oratory. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  4. ^ Clyde Gentry (2005). No Holds Barred: Ultimate Fighting and the Martial Arts Revolution. Milo Books. ISBN 1903854105.
  5. ^ a b c "Where are they now: UFC 1's Gerard Gordeau". Mmafighting.com. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "UFC 1, 25 Years Later: The Story Behind the Event That Started an Industry". Bleacher Report. 2018-11-12. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Don Beu, The Ultimate Fighting Championship: Jujutsu and Royce Gracie Reign Supreme at No-Holds-Barred Tournament, Black Belt magazine, March 1994
  8. ^ a b "UFC 1 Starts With "Kick Heard 'round The World"". Boxinginsider.com. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  9. ^ Brian K. Trembath (2016-11-10). "Denver's Forgotten Role in the Birth of the Ultimate Fighting Championship". Denver Library. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  10. ^ a b L. Jon Wertheim (January 5, 2010). Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFC. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780547347226.
  11. ^ "History in the Making: A flying tooth sets the stage at the Ultimate Fighting Championship". MMAMania.com. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  12. ^ "UFC 1: The Beginning - Mixed Martial Arts News". mixedmartialarts.com. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  13. ^ http://recbf.free.fr/rec09Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=54
  14. ^ http://www21.ac-lyon.fr/enseigne/eps/IMG/pdf/Document_du_STAGE_DE_BOXE_FRANCAISE_2007-08_module_1.pdf
  15. ^ Doyle, Dave (November 12, 2012). "Nineteen years later, Royce Gracie reflects on UFC 1". MMA Fighting. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  16. ^ Todd Hester, O Melhor do Mundo, Trip magazine, October 1994
  17. ^ "Choke (1999) - IMDb | Rickson Gracie: Choke - documentary". imdb.com. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  18. ^ Nowe, Jason; Martinez, Stephen (February 14, 2006). "Nakai talks Vale Tudo, SHOOTO and Rickson". Sherdog. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  19. ^ Naoyuki Taira, Naoyuki Taira's Fighting Toy Box, 2006, Fukushodo
  20. ^ 女子格闘技の歴史を変える興行!!藪下が歴史を変えた!!好試合続出!!12/5REMIX武道館大会
  21. ^ "Newborn UWF Cards 1988". prowrestlinghistory.com. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  22. ^ ""自分で見に行く"ブログ|プロレス観戦記: 2010/04/11 ZERO1(靖国神社)". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved June 20, 2015.

External linksEdit