Gerard Gordeau

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Gerard Gordeau
Born (1959-03-30) March 30, 1959 (age 59)
Den Haag, Netherlands
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight216 lb (98 kg; 15.4 st)
TeamDojo Kamakura
9th dan Kyokushin Karate (International Budo Kaikan)

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
By knockout2
By submission2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: November 27, 2016

Gerard Gordeau (born March 30, 1959) 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 has a very poor reputation in the MMA community, stemming from his frequent use of illegal tactics in the ring, namely eye gouges; having permanently blinded Yuki Nakai in his right eye with these in tournament.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Gordeau trained in karate for most of his life, but also learned kickboxing and savate.[1][2] He 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.[2] He also had experience as a bodyguard and bouncer.[2]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In 1993, Gordeau took part in UFC 1, the first event of Ultimate Fighting Championship, being billed as a representative of the art of savate. In his first match, also the first televised match in the history of UFC, he was pitted against 400 pound sumo wrestler Teila Tuli in a fight which 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.[3] The Dutchman then took stance and threw a right roundhouse kick to Tuli's face,[4][5][6] following with a right uppercut that cut Tuli's eye,[3] before the referee intervened to stop the match.[1][7]

Victorious, Gordeau advanced 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 reports claim it landed on the crowd.[3][6] 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 out, they simply taped his foot.[4] Gordeau's punch had broke his hand as well, and he came to the next fight with a noticeably swollen fist.[8]

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.[9][10][11]

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,[3] and then finished him two stomps to the liver.[1][8]

Finally, the Dutchman faced Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist Royce Gracie in the championship bout. During the fight, Gordeau blocked a trip and clamped to the cage to avoid being taken down, but he was eventually grounded.[3] While Gordeau was in Gracie's guard, he allegedly bit Gracie's ear in an intentional foul,[12] but Gracie, after landing some palm strikes and headbutts,[3] still managed to submit Gordeau with a rear naked choke to win the fight and the tournament. According to Gordeau, Royce was warned about his injuries and took advantage of them during the match. The Brazilian also held the choke for a long time after Gerard's tap out in retaliation for the foul play.[8]

In 1994, Gordeau was a cornerman for UFC 2 participants Remco Pardoel and Freek Hamaker.

Vale Tudo Japan[edit]

Two years after his UFC, Gordeau applied to the Vale Tudo Japan tournament, held in Japan. He was pitted against the much lighter shoot wrestling exponent Yuki Nakai, and again Gordeau resorted to illegal tactics when he repeatedly eye-gouged while he was trying to take him down.[13] At the end, Nakai submitted Gordeau with a heel hook, but lost the sight of his right eye from the gouge.[14]

Professional wrestling career[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.[15]

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.

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.[16]

Kamakura dojo[edit]

Gordeau, along with his brothers Al and Nico, owns the Dojo Kamakura in The Hague. He also trains the current 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 Bob Peppels of the Ashigaru Honbu Dojo Netherlands and founder of the Ashigaru Ryu style.

Accomplishments and titles[edit]

  • 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 record[edit]

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 For UFC 1 Championship
Win 2-0 Kevin Rosier TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 1 November 12, 1993 1 0:59 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 1-0 Teila Tuli TKO (head kick) UFC 1 November 12, 1993 1 0:26 Denver, Colorado, United States First Fight in UFC History

Kickboxing record[edit]

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

Karate record[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b c Scott Newman (2005-07-06). "MMA Review: #50: UFC 1: The Beginning". The Oratory. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  2. ^ a b c Clyde Gentry (2005). No Holds Barred: Ultimate Fighting and the Martial Arts Revolution. Milo Books. ISBN 1903854105.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ a b "UFC 1 Starts With "Kick Heard 'round The World"". Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  5. ^ Brian K. Trembath (2016-11-10). "Denver's Forgotten Role in the Birth of the Ultimate Fighting Championship". Denver Library. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "History in the Making: A flying tooth sets the stage at the Ultimate Fighting Championship". 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  8. ^ a b c Erich Krauss (November 10, 2010). Brawl: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Mixed Martial Arts Competition. ECW Press. ISBN 155490238X.
  9. ^ "UFC 1: The Beginning - Mixed Martial Arts News". Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Doyle, Dave (November 12, 2012). "Nineteen years later, Royce Gracie reflects on UFC 1". MMA Fighting. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  13. ^ "Choke (1999) - IMDb | Rickson Gracie: Choke - documentary". Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  14. ^ Nowe, Jason; Martinez, Stephen (February 14, 2006). "Nakai talks Vale Tudo, SHOOTO and Rickson". Sherdog. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  15. ^ "Newborn UWF Cards 1988". Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  16. ^ ""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.

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