( reporter Daniel Theodore recently sat down with the legendary “Judo” Gene LeBell to discuss his colorful life and influence on the world of grappling and mixed martial arts.

In part 1 LeBell talks about his 1963 mixed rules bout with pro boxer Milo Savage, who was ranked no. 5 in the world at the time. It was a match which is largely accepted as the first-ever official mixed martial arts bout.

LeBell also talks about his time working in the pro wrestling business with some of the old-time greats like Karl Gotch, Lou Thesz and Vic Christy — wrestlers who LeBell says were all the “real thing”.

Be sure to check out part 2¬†where Uncle Gene talks about working with the likes of Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee, and discusses his mentoring relationship with Ronda Rousey. Learn more about Gene LeBell at Also check out this mini-documentary¬†from on Gene’s match with Milo Savage.

By Dan Theodore - Dan "The Wolfman" Theodore has been training in many different martial arts since 1986 and has been training with many of the best MMA fighters and grappling instructors around the world since 1997 including Dan Severn, Team Punishment, Tank Abbott, MFS, Saulo Ribeiro, Eddie Bravo, Gokor Chivichyan/Gene LeBell, and 3 months at Black House. Dan's advanced instructional videos on MMA, Combatives Self-Defense, Systema Applications, Catch Wrestling, and overall Grappling have gotten over 6 million views and counting. Dan has fought in MMA against the likes of UFC no.1 contenders Pancrase Champion Yuki Kondo and Jeremy Horn. and won 3 fights by first round submission. He's had two Kudo World Championships fights and a 1 Hour long 85% real Underground fight at Takada Dojo in Japan for the Pride President without knowing what was really going on or for how long! Also, many Advanced No Gi Grappling wins, most by submission, and 2 Gi BJJ wins. Currently Dan works in the Entertainment Industry as a Stuntman/Actor/Motion Capture Performer and has been involved with such projects as CSI: NY, Chuck, Sons of Anarchy, Real Steel, Couples Retreat and Metal Gear Rising. MMA DVD Packages are available on his website!

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