The International Vale Tudo Championship is an MMA fighting promotion based in Brazil starting in 1997. The first events were no holds barred contests inspired by the Ultimate Fighting Championship and gained an international reputation for its hardcore nature. Head butts and groin strikes were not forbidden. Head butts render fighters on the bottom in the guard position more vulnerable. Founded by Sergio Batarelli, it became one of the most important Vale Tudo tournaments in Brazil during its existence. While the UFC fights were held in an octagon, the IVC kept the normal ring shape. A fight lasted a maximum of 30 minutes. It was not uncommon for fighters to get a hand broken, lose teeth or receive cuts in their faces. An IVC in 1999 concluded with 8 out of 10 matches finished with strikes.
After 14 events, the state of São Paulo (where the promotion was based) prohibited the sanctioning of the Vale Tudo fights, and the event entered an hiatus period. In January 2011, during an interview to channel Combate, Sergio Batarelli announced the return of the IVC in mid-2012 with a new ruleset (based on the UFC rules) and acting as a feeder promotion to the UFC.