Wallid Ismail

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Wallid Ismail
Ismail (second from the right) at Jungle Fight 88.
BornWallid Farid Ismail
(1968-02-23) 23 February 1968 (age 53)
Manaus, Brazil
Other namesGracie Killer
The Destroyer
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight183 lb (83 kg; 13.1 st)
Fighting out ofRio de Janeiro
TeamCarlson Gracie Team
TrainerCarlson Gracie, Georges Mehdi, Ary Almeida
Rank1st degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Years active1991–2002
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout2
By submission5
By decision2
By knockout1
By decision2
OccupationFight promoter
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: December 11, 2009

Wallid Farid Ismail[1] (Arabic: وليد فريد إسماعيل‎, born February 23, 1968) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and promoter of Lebanese descent. Ismail holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) under Carlson Gracie, and is an IVC mixed martial arts world champion and BJJ Champion.[2] In mixed martial arts, Ismail also competed for the UFC, and PRIDE, and most of wins in the sport came by way of submission.


Ismail started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 1980 in his home state of Amazonas in Brazil under Ary Almeida, and then, in 1984, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and started training under his master, the late Carlson Gracie, who described Ismail as a "hairy and chubby guy," but had a desire to succeed, as he would be known for later in his career[3] and stayed by the side of his master until the day Carlson died in 2006. Gracie had allowed Ismail to train with his camp even though Ismail had no money to afford the teaching."[4] Wallid then started to compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments, becoming champion several times, and defeating four members of the famous Gracie family in competition.

Victories over the Gracie family[edit]

Ismail was willing to face the Gracie family's main branch due to their enmity with their relative Carlson. Ismail had also expressed: "I always felt belittled for not being born with the Gracie name. Some of the Gracies never trained at all, but they got all this attention. Other people trained just as hard, but no one paid them the least bit of attention."[5]

After his first championship wins, Ismail had a famous duel with Ralph Gracie, whom he believed the Gracie family had trained specifically to beat him for three years. The Carlson Gracie apprentice defeated Ralph at the Copa Rio Sport Center, winning a referee decision.[5] In 1993, Wallid scored another victory over a Gracie when he defeated Renzo Gracie,[6] who would have been training for two years for revenge.[5] Ismail then challenged the main members of the family, Rickson and Royce, stating that he would fight them in any style anywhere.

Only Royce accepted the challenge, though demanding special conditions for the fight, like having no point scoring and no time limit, thus making the fight only winnable by submission. With renowned Hélio Vigio as the referee, the bout took place on December 17, 1998, and was won by Ismail after four minutes and fifty three seconds, choking Gracie unconscious with the Relógio (also known as clock choke or koshi-jime in judo), a move that has been associated with Wallid ever since. The bout had a significant international repercussion due to Royce's previous career in Ultimate Fighting Championship,[7] to the point Keith Vargo from the Black Belt magazine stated, "One thing is certain: Royce Gracie is no longer the messiah of unarmed combat he once was."[8]

After the match, Ismail challenged Rickson again, but the latter was declared inactive in the sport.[5][9] Royce's side tried then to negotiate a rematch, which was accepted, but according to Ismail, they withdrew from the proposition after several months.[5] Rickson later criticized Ismail, calling him an "average fighter" and stating "I never felt like he's someone I have to respect as a fighter."[10]

Wallid was also famous for his personal enmity with Ryan Gracie. Ryan agreed to fight Wallid at mixed martial arts match at World Extreme Cagefighting in January 2000; however, Ryan dropped out of the event, and instead proposed fighting in April 2001, but he had to drop again after being arrested for fighting in a bar.

Feud with Edson Carvalho[edit]

In 1996, Wallid was involved in a violent incident with Edson Carvalho, a judo black belt and fellow Carlson Gracie trainee. The matter took place in Georges Mehdi's judo school, which both Ismail and Carvalho were attending at the time. After heated words among the two, a sparring turned into an all-out fight when Ismail and Carvalho attacked each other. Mehdi intervened to break up the brawl and expel them out of the academy, but the two fighters resumed fighting as soon as they were in the street. Seeing the situation, Mehdi opted for calling the police, but it arrived too late and didn't compromise to break up the violence, and meanwhile Wallid was brutally beaten down and left unconscious and profusely bleeding. After the incident was finally over, Ismail had to be attended by Mehdi himself and spent a week in an ICU, with 20 stitches in his head, both orbital bones broken and many other facial injuries.

The incident had deep repercussions. Carvalho's coach, Antônio Lacerda a.k.a. Mestre da Morte, declared himself prideful of his trainee's act and actually paraded through the city with the bloody gi jacket of Ismail.[1] Carlson Gracie, who was teaching in United States at the time, returned to Brazil and attacked Lacerda in a public meeting, challenging him to a fight, but nothing came from it. Ismail claims that Edson's brother Ricardo Carvalho intervened actively in the brawl and that it became a 2-on-1,[11] but Mehdi himself dismissed this version and assured that the fight was fair.[12]

"The fight started in my academy. I ordered Wallid and Edson to stop. They conceded but soon started it again. Then I sent them outside, because my academy is not the place for this type of fight. Since they would not let go of each other I had to push them outside close the doors and call the cops. And the fight out there went on for half an hour since the police was not coming quickly. Sometimes I opened the door and tried to separate them but it was like separating a dog fight. Edson did not obey me and then I asked Wallid to stop it, asking for mercy he replied "not even dead". It is important to remind you that at no moment Edson's brother helped him: Wallid and Edson fought alone. When the police arrived with reinforcements, Edson left. I took Wallid with a totally disfigured face to the restroom and had him cleaned. Afterwards he was taken to the hospital wherein he stayed for days"

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Early career[edit]

Ismail was able to become a professional fighter because of his specially dedicated training, as he had many sponsors and did not have to teach or have another job, unlike most of the other competitors in the country. Wallid was brought to the spotlight in 1991, when he faced Eugênio Tadeu, on an event aired by Rede Globo channel in national television, giving the victory to Ismail in his professional debut.

He later went to compete at Universal Vale Tudo Fighting. He first fought Australian Dennis Kefalinos, winning in short time, and went to face Japanese professional wrestler Katsumi Usuda, hailing from Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi. Katsumi offered resistance to Wallid's attempts to pass guard, but he was eventually mounted and punched. The fight then turned controversial, as Usuda tapped out unceasingly only for the referee to ignore it and allow Ismail to choke him out. They met again in Japan, but Ismail won again.

In 1998, he defeated Johil de Oliveira by submission due to strikes, and then defeated Gary Myers via decision.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In 1997, Ismail had his debut for Ultimate Fighting Championship at the UFC 12 event, where he was paired with Pancrase fighter Kazuo Takahashi. The fight would become infamous for its irregularities and disregard for the rules, as Takahashi seemed to be uninformed of the event's ruleset while Ismail intentionally ignored it.

Wallid tried to take Kazuo down, but they hit the cage wall and stayed on it, and both of them kept grabbing the fence despite the referee's continuous warnings. Shortly after, Kazuo knocked down Wallid with a right punch which seemed to end the fight, but the Japanese wrestler stood waiting, believing his opponent would receive a 10 count like it was done in Pancrase; when he learned that the match would continue, he tried to kick Ismail, but it happened to be an illegal attack because he was wearing wrestling shoes. Recovering the pace, Ismail eye-gouged Kazuo, and the Japanese wrestler asked for time to check it out, which was refused as UFC didn't include it on the rules unlike Pancrase. Takahashi had also to be informed of the end of the round, as he didn't know its duration. However, the most shocking event of the night came at its end: having been informed that groin attacks were legal, Takahashi slid his hand inside Ismail's trunks, tore away his protective cup and started striking his groin, which the Brazilian tried to counter by eye-gouging him again. Ismail lost the fight by unanimous decision.

After the bout, Ismail criticized his opponent for holding the fence, though he also recognized being in bad shape himself as the reason of his defeat.[5]


Ismail then signed with PRIDE FC, making his debut at Pride 4 against Japanese fighter Akira Shoji. Although he was the smaller fighter, Ismail controlled Shoji early, but later in the fight, Ismail became exhausted and Shoji finished him with strikes. Ismail later stated that jet lag from the trip to Japan was the cause for his exhaustion, not poor conditioning.[5]

Ismail returned at PRIDE 15 with a win by arm triangle over Shungo Oyama. His next fight in PRIDE was a decision loss in a technical ground fight to Alex Stiebling at Pride 19. Ismail won the last two fights of his career in 2002 in Japan.

Post fight career[edit]

In 2003, Ismail did several special appearances for Japanese professional wrestling promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling. Siding with Antonio Inoki and his faction of fighters opposed to NJPW, he was expected to debut as an active wrestler in August, teaming up with Kazuyuki Fujita and his allies.[13] However, for unknown reasons, this never came to fruition, and he eventually remained in a non-wrestling role.[13]

The same year, Ismail also proposed aggressively a rematch with Royce Gracie under mixed martial arts rules, criticizing Gracie as a "fake fighter."[13]

Wallid also founded the Jungle Fight Championship promotion in Brazil,[14] and was often in the corner of Paulo Thiago and Erick Silva in their UFC fights.[15]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
12 matches 9 wins 3 losses
By knockout 2 1
By submission 5 0
By decision 2 2
By disqualification 0 0
Draws 0
No contests 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 9–3 Yasuhito Namekawa Decision (unanimous) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2002 December 12, 2002 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 8–3 Kazunari Murakami TKO (punches) UFO - Legend August 8, 2002 2 3:03 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 7–3 Alex Stiebling Decision (unanimous) PRIDE 19 - Bad Blood February 24, 2002 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 7–2 Shungo Oyama Technical Submission (arm triangle choke) PRIDE 15 - Raging Rumble July 29, 2001 2 2:30 Saitama, Japan
Loss 6–2 Akira Shoji TKO (punches) Pride 4 October 11, 1998 2 1:26 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–1 Gary Myers Decision (unanimous) IVC 5 - The Warriors April 26, 1998 1 30:00 Brazil
Win 5–1 Johil de Oliveira Submission (punches) IVC 3 - The War Continues October 12, 1997 1 9:48 Brazil
Loss 4–1 Kazuo Takahashi Decision UFC 12 - Judgement Day February 2, 1997 1 15:00 Dothan, Alabama, United States
Win 4–0 Katsumi Usuta Submission (rear naked choke) U - Japan November 17, 1996 1 3:10 Japan
Win 3–0 Katsumi Usuta Submission (rear naked choke) UVF 2 - Universal Vale Tudo Fighting 2 June 6, 1996 1 3:59 Brazil
Win 2–0 Dennis Kefalinos Submission (rear naked choke) UVF 1 - Universal Vale Tudo Fighting 1 May 4, 1996 1 2:10 Japan
Win 1–0 Eugenio Tadeu TKO (injury) Desafio - Jiu Jitsu vs. Luta Livre August 26, 1991 1 16:18 Grajaú, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Submission grappling record[edit]

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Notes
Win Brazil Royce Gracie Technical submission (clock choke) Oscar de Jiu-Jitsu 1998
Loss Brazil Roberto Roleta Points World Championships 1996
Win Brazil Renzo Gracie Points Desafio WxR 1993
Loss Brazil Jean-Jacques Machado Decision Atlantico Sul 1991

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Wallid Ismail | BJJ Heroes: the jiu jitsu encyclopedia". BJJ Heroes. Retrieved 2015-03-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "MMA Legend: Wallid Ismail". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2014-04-30. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Wallid Ismail | BJJ Heroes: the jiu jitsu encyclopedia". BJJ Heroes. 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2014-04-30. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ [1] Archived March 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Rodney Ley, Wallid Ismail Opens Fire! 'The Gracie Exterminator' Speaks About Royce, Ralph, Renzo and Rickson, Black Belt Magazine, September 1999
  6. ^ "Ten Years Ago, on December 17, 1998, Wallid Ismail Defeated Royce Gracie in Jiu-Jitsu | News Archive". Adcombat.com. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2015-03-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Wallid Ismail Challenges Rickson, Ink Panther Deal, Black Belt magazine, June 1999
  8. ^ Keith Vargo, Royce Gracie is Only Human, Black Belt magazine, April 1999
  9. ^ Wallid Ismail Challenges Rickson, Ink Panther Deal, Black Belt magazine, June 1999
  10. ^ Robert W. Young, Rickson Gracie: The Legend of No-Holds-Barred Fighting Speaks Out on the State of Grappling Arts, Black Belt magazine, March 2001
  11. ^ Wallid Ismail, revista Tatame, 1995
  12. ^ Georges Mehdi, "O depoimento do Prof. Medhi à revista Kiai nº19 - ano 4", 1995
  13. ^ a b c "August 2002 News Archive". Ichiban Puroresu. August 2002. Retrieved 2018-12-30. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ [2] Archived April 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ [3] Archived January 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]