The famous “Judo” Gene LeBell — quite possibly the most badass man to at any time wander the earth — has died at the age of 89, and some of the greatest sports activities stars in the environment are demonstrating love in light-weight of his passing.
LeBell passed away Tuesday … leaving at the rear of an incomparable legacy in combined martial arts and wrestling.
Nicknamed the “Godfather of Grappling,” LeBell’s journey to stardom commenced when he won the heavyweight and overall Newbie Athletic Union Nationwide Judo Championships in 1954 and 1955.
Gene LeBell describes the LeBell Grip (3 finger grip), 1987. He tortures Mando Guerrero in the process. pic.twitter.com/hOkadorDVv
LeBell is greatly credited with introducing capture wrestling and grappling procedures to professional wrestling and MMA.
Speaking of MMA … lengthy right before Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock fought at UFC 1 (1993), Gene fought in the to start with televised bout in The us in 1963.
Gene, with his judo and grappling, beat top-rated light-weight-heavyweight boxer Milo Savage.
LeBell also properly trained some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee.
Gene and Bruce to start with achieved through filming of the Television show “The Inexperienced Hornet” … and grew to become close friends, typically education alongside one another.
He also served as the referee for Muhammad Ali‘s crossover bout with Antonio Inoki in 1976.
Gene, also an actor and stuntman, appeared in hundreds of motion pictures (there is certainly a totally unverified tale about LeBell and Steven Seagal likely at it on established — glimpse it up).
Skills apart, LeBell was revered for his relationships with fighters and wrestlers about his storied job, most notably former UFC women’s bantamweight winner Ronda Rousey.
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Gene experienced Rousey (a previous Judo star) … and he also labored with WWE legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the inspiration for the “Rowdy Ronda” character.
On Wednesday, Ronda posted a photograph of her and Gene together … captioning the pic, “Legend.”
Triple H, a14-time WWE champ, took to Twitter to express his gratitude and appreciation for Gene’s contributions to the industry around the years.
“Gene LeBell remained a towering determine in the background and expansion of combined martial arts and sports leisure,” HHH wrote. “A trainer to numerous of the sport’s greats, his influence is felt all through @WWE to this day.”
“Our views are with his loved ones and beloved types at this time.”