Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Requiem for a Master

Last week jiu-jitsu master Ricardo Almeida announced his retirement from MMA competition.  The decision, according to Almeida, was final, and if true, it caps off a pretty long and successful eleven-year career of kicking, punching and choking people out.  But regardless of his accomplishments in the ring and cage - and as a King of Pancrase and UFC veteran, those accomplishments were many - it should be noted that Almeida's most-lasting legacy exists outside the realm of wins and losses.  Simply put, the Renzo Gracie-trained black belt is considered one of the best instructors and coaches around.  Like, the best of the best.  Want evidence?  Just look at his students, who are legion and include among their ranks UFC champ Frankie Edgar, ROC star Chris Liguori, up-and-comer Tom DeBlass, and other top-notch fighters too numerous to mention.  In fact, when Renzo himself has a fight to prepare for, he goes to New Jersey and seeks out Almeida, who he knows he can count on to prepare and sharpen him.  Can you think of anything more flattering than that?  Bow your head and pour a little of your 40oz out for Almeida's MMA career, but weep not for the man himself.  His best work has always been in imparting knowledge, and thankfully, he will continue on doing what he truly does best.

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