Join Date: Mar 2006
How the superfight got started
From: das...@earthlink.net (Michael Dash)
Subject: Boztepe/Gracie challenge - Entire chain of letters (long)
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For all of you that are intersted, I am providing in this post all
the letters that exist (to the best of my knowledge) regarding
Emin Boztepe's challenge to the Gracie Family. If you have no
interest in this subject, then exercise your right of choice and
skip this post/thread. Don't bitch or complain to me because you
can't seem to stop yourself from reading my posts.
The follwoing is a summary of the letters provided:
1. Boztepe's original challenge letter, dated 10/26/94.
2. Art Davie's (W.O.W.) orignal response, dated 12/01/94, to the
letter in which he points out that Boztepe libeled the UFC by
calling it fake. Boztepe is also formally offered a guaranteed
slot in the UFC.
3. Rorion Gracie's response to the challenge letter, faxed 1/19/95
in which he suggests Boztepe accept the invitation to the UFC, or
he can fight Royce at the Torrance Academy.
4. Second letter from Art Davie to Boztepe, dated 1/25/95, in which
he asks Boztepe to retract his statement calling the UFC fake. He
also repeats a verbal offer made to Boztepe guaranteeing him a special
single match with Royce (which would have been the first superfight
that Shamrock received).
5. First letter from Alexander Wallenwein, Boztepe's attorney,
dated 3/3/95, in which he first offers the gym of the Martial Arts
Gazette, as an alternative to the Police Academy.
6. Rorion's response to the lawyer, dated 3/6/95, which he proposes
a firm date for the fight at the Police Academy. In this letter
Rorion refers to the fight as a "demonstration".
7. Wallenwein's response to the Police Acadmey offer, dated
3/6/95, in which he indicates, for the first time, that the fight
Boztepe challenged the Gracies to is in fact illegal and that they
didn't want to fight in front of the Police unless Rorion obtained
a letter from the Mayor or the Chief of Police stating that such
fights are "(a) legal in California, (b) that no law enforcement
personnel will intervene in the fight in any way until it is over,
and (c) that after the fight none of the participants or their
promoters/representatives will be charged with violating any laws".
By the way, it was this letter that convinced Rorion that Boztepe
wasn't serious about fighting them and that the fight was never
going to occur.
8. Rorion's repsonse to the request for a letter from the Mayor or
Chief of Police, dated 3/6/95, in which he states the fight would
be just as illegal if held at the gym of the Martial Arts Gazette,
but Royce would fight there if Boztepe could provide the same letter
they requested earlier from the Mayor or the Chief of Police. This
letter, to the best of my knowledge, was the last letter exchanged
9. Letter published in Black Belt Magazine in which Royce compares
Boztepe to a circus clown.
10. Letter from Boztepe, dated 4/3/95, that Mike Adams posted to
rec.martial-arts. Supposedly this letter was going to be published
in magazines, but I don't know if it has.
The following letters are reproduced verbatim from the original,
as best as I can (i.e. I can't reproduce changes in font or underlines).
I have copies of the originals for letters 1, and 3-8 above. I
only have electronic versions of 2, 9, and 10.
*The above statements represent my personal opinion and are not *
*necessarily the opinion of any other individual or organization. *
American WingTsun Organization
Los Angeles, 26th October 1994
A WORLD-WIDE OPEN CHALLENGE TO THE GRACIE-FAMILY
After having watched your "Ultimate Fighting Championships" held
by the Gracie-Family, I cannot find them very "ultimate" but only
amusing. These so-called "ultimate fights" may impress layman or
beginners, but in fact they are no more real than the professional
Wrestling shows on TV.
What depresses me is that I have heard of some rumors that I would
not dare to accept your challenge. In fact I have never received
any such challenge! Do you want me to appear like a coward? When I
talked to Benny Urquidez in Germany, he told me that you people had
played him the same dirty old trick for propaganda. Not long ago you
even challenged the great man of American wrestling Gene LaBell. A
very brave act indeed, since Mr. LaBell is over 60 years old.
Now in the second "Ultimate Fighting Championships"-Show you
people even (ab-)used two stupid wing chun men to perform some funny
movements so as to represent "Kung-Fu". And at the same time you
claimed to have defeated two "wing chun"-fighters in the first bout.
Although I am a WingTsun-Fighter of the Leung Ting WingTsun-System,
which is very different from the generic wing chun style in theory
and practice and is highly compatible in ground-fighting, I feel
bad that you brothers use these kinds of dirty tricks to put down
the late Great Grandmaster Yip Man's other students, their schools
as well as other respectable martial arts styles or stylists!
I keep the record of over 300 bare-hand fights and have never been
defeated. However, I have never talked bad about my losers and all
the other styles. But so as to educate you Gracies to respect the
others, my students and I hereby turn the tables on you by challenging
all you people of the Gracy-Family.
I can send 5 or more fighters from the AWTO to fight the Gracies.
If you have more fighters in the Gracie-Family, just inform me and
I shall report this to the International Headquarters and we will
satisfy you with as many fighters as necessary.
We like the so-called "No rules at all" Game as advertised in your
propaganda. No gloves, no time-limit, the person who knocks out
his opponent is the winner. This is exactly the way we WingTsun-people
fought in China in the olden times. We do not mind fighting you people
in the ring set up by your own organization. The only thing that
we want is to fight openly, so all the audience, reporters, TV-people
and martial artists can see if you can really fight against us.
We only want two conditions:
1) We only fight you Gracies. For we do not want to give you the
chance to use any helpful idiots to protect you as "shields".
So we will only fight you directly and no others!
2) The winner takes all the money. We only want our expenses paid.
The rest of the money will all be used for charity.
If you Gracie-brothers dare not to accept our challenge, I do not
mind. But remember: Never put down any other martial art styles
from now on.
5th level Practician EWTO/IWTMAA
Headman of the AWTO (American WingTsun Organization)
faxed to Emin Boztepe at (213)666-1635
TO: EMIN BOZTEPE
FROM: ART DAVIE, PROMOTER OF THE UFC
SUBJECT: UFC V
I have a copy of your letter to the Gracies being published in
Cinturon Negro in Europe. You expressed an interest in entering
the UFC, but I have some concerns with your letter:
1. The UFC, which is owned by my company in partnership with
Semaphore Entertainment Group in New York, is not a staged
exhibition like professional wrestling. Your letter's
assertion "...in fact they (UFC) are no more real than
professional wrestling shows on TV" is not only false but is,
in the opinion of our attorneys, clearly libelous. Be advised
that we have made a substantial investment in the UFC as a
business, and will do everything, within our legal means to
2. The UFC is not controlled by the Gracies; they do not select
the competitors nor arrange the bout order. The opening round
bouts are done by a random draw. A fighter may be matched
against a Gracie in the opening round or be matched against a
Gracie in the second or final round. This is the way the
tournament is structured.
You may remember that I spoke to you on the phone a year ago asking
you to fight the first UFC. You declined, saying you were retired
from such competitions. I am, however,aware of and respect your
reputation as a Wing Tsun stylist; I would suggest to you that a
simple resolution to this issue would be for you to enter UFC V,
scheduled for April 7, 1995. I am sure that a Gracie brother will
be a competitor and your stature is such that I will guarantee you
a selection as one of the eight UFC competitors. I have attached
a UFC application for you to return to me, indicating your
Please call me with any questions. We will, of course, take care
of your travel and accommodations as we do for the other fighters.
Over 1 million people watched the UFC live on TV. Millions more
saw it on delayed broadcast or video. I am sure that you will
appreciate the opportunity to display your art before the millions
who will view the UFC V. Please advise me as soon as possible.
Dear Mr. Boztepe:
In response to your open challenge to the Gracie Family, the
promoters of the UFC, W.O.W. Promotions and Semaphore
Entertainment Group (SEG), are pleased to extend to you a formal
invitation to the UFC V to represent your art. You are perhaps
the most respected fighter in the Wing Tsun world and we are
pleased you are willing to enter.
I must, however, address several points you raised in your letter.
First, whatever you may think about "THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING
CHAMPIONSHIPS(TM)", they are very real bare-knuckle, no-holds barred
matches. This is not "professional wrestling". You will find out
Second, my brother challenged Benny Urquidez after Benny declared
that the Gracie's reputation was a scam developed through a publicity
stunt. When invited to be in the UFC, he declined and used his
retirement as his reason. If inviting a renowned fighter to enter
the Western world's only legal bare-knuckle, no holds-barred tournament
is a "dirty trick" - then I don't know "dirty tricks".
Thirdly, regarding the two Wing Chun fighters that participated in
the UFC II, I want to see the record straight at this point - they
were defeated by fighters other than my brother.
Regarding fighting the Gracies:
The promoters of the UFC have invested a lot of money in the single
elimination concept. This includes a random drawing for the first
round match ups. It would not be fair to the other martial arts
organizations worldwide to change the format of this tournament to
satisfy your request.
Also by entering the UFC V, you will have the opportunity to draw
Royce Gracie in the 1st round, or given your claim of fighting
superiority to face him in the championship match.
Last but not least, let me remind you that while you preached respect
for other martial arts, your reference to the UFC competitors as
"helpful idiots" is not only an obvious contradiction, but is grossly
disrespectful to Champions such as Gerard Gordeau, Orlando Weit,
Minoki Ichihara and Ken Shamrock - who unlike yourself, have already
competed for the title of "The Ultimate Fighter".
For your information, the promoters are more than willing to pick
up all travel and accommodation expenses for you, a trainer and a
manager, so there is no excuse for your absence from the next
If you do not want to compete in the UFC, I will be glad to set up
a date for you to come here, to the Gracie Academy in Torrance, and
have a match with Royce Gracie for the press to view.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Head of the Gracie Family
American Wing Tsun Organization
505 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Dear Mr. Boztepe:
I am writing to ask you to respond to the request I made in our
last phone conversation on 01/06/95: That you issue a retraction
to the statement you made about the UFC (our tournament), in your
OPEN LETTER TO THE GRACIES, comparing it to staged professional
I have never, nor has anyone in my employ, written or caused to
be published anything negative about you personally or professionally.
You have admitted to me in phone conversations that you were only
angered by gossip on martial arts bulletin boards. This has
nothing to do with me or my company. Fans of your martial art style
and fans of my tournament are unfettered by the First Amendment in
this country in expressing their *opinions* on such bulletin board
You have, however, written and caused to be published in the U.S.
and Europe a letter challenging another martial artist in which
you stated "..."ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP" (TM)...may impress
laymen or beginners, but in fact they are no more real than
professional wrestling shows on TV." As I advised you by FAX on
12/01/94 this statement is not only false but, in the opinion of
counsel, clearly libelous. W.O.W. and its partners, Semaphore
Entertainment Group, have invested million of dollars in the UFC
and will do everyhting in our power to protect this investment.
I have extended in our last two phone conversations an invitation
to you to compete in the UFC. I even offered you a special single
match against Royce Gracie. You have not said yes to either offer.
You, however, continue to give interviews to the martial arts press
proclaiming your challenge. Solely based upon your actions in this
matter, I am left to conclude that you are attempting to use this
all for publicity purposes to further your career and have no desire
to act on your challenge.
Please call me with any questions. We will, of course, take care of
your travel and accomodations as we do for the other fighters. Over
1 million people watched the UFC III Live on TV. Millions more saw
it on delayed broadcast or video. I am sure that you will appreciate
the opportunity to display your art before millions who will view the
UFC V. Please advise me as soon as possible.
March 3, 1995
Alexander R. Wallenwein
Attorney At Law
Dear Mr. Rorion Gracie:
I am writing this letter on behalf of my client, Mr. Emin Boztepe,
Chief Instructor of the American Wing Tsun Organization (AWTO), 5th
Level Master of Wing Tsun (WT).
You allowed your promoter to openly challenge and humiliate old and
retired masters of different styles and did nothing to stop him.
You also watched while your people kept on calling Mr. Boztepe
"chicken" on the Internet computer network.
When my client unexpectedly answered that challenge with a counter
challenge to you to fight you and/or your brother Royce outside
your TV tournament, you never accepted the terms, dates, or the
Then, on February 17th you called Mr. Boztepe and told him that
your brother Royce will accept his counter-challenge to your family
and fight Mr. Boztepe on "neutral ground" but initially suggested
your own school. This was of course unacceptable. Thereupon you
said you would call him back that same night in order to give the
exact date and final location of the fight. However, Mr. Boztepe
waited in vain that day, and the next day....
You in fact did not call him back until Tuesday, February 21st.
On that occasion you informed my client that you wanted to hold
the fight at the Los Angeles Police Academy - of which you happen
to be a member - on Thursday February 23rd, only two days later.
You also requested that there should be no public TV coverage, only
video recordings of the fight. Of course Mr. Boztepe told you that he
considered two days advance notice too short. He suggested to hold
the match one week later so that he could make sure that the
newspaper and camera men could be there to record the fight. You
responded that you would "try to arrange it" but then called back
to cancel the fight with the weak excuse that the gym was not
available for the next two weeks and you would call Mr. Boztepe
So as to make it impossible for you to back out of the fight
again, my client suggests once and for all the following date
and location: March 14th in the gym of the "Martial Arts Gazette",
one of the leading martial arts newspapers. If you prefer "Inside
Kung Fu" or "Black Belt", I am sure it can be arranged on the
THE AGREEMENT IS THAT THE FIGHT IS A "NO RULES" FIGHT WITH NO
REFEREES. NO PARTY TO THE FIGHT OR THEIR RESPECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS
OR REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE LIABLE TO THE OTHER FOR ANY DAMAGES,
WHETHER FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR OTHERWISE, AND EACH PARTY AGREES
NOT TO PRESS CHARGES FOR ANY ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW. THE
FIGHT WILL BE INDEPENDENTLY RECORDED BY VIDEO BY EACH PARTY. THE
RECORDING AND PHOTO RIGHTS WILL BELONG TO THE RESPECTIVE FIGHTERS
ONLY. NO FIGHTER HAS THE RIGHT TO PREVENT, DELAY, OR HINDER
PUBLICATION OF THE RESULT, NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME.
After this date Mr. Boztepe has to leave for Europe. If you do
not accept again, Mr. Boztepe and the public must assume that you
or Royce never intended to fight him, and you and your family must
live with that disgrace.
Mr. Boztepe expects you to confirm this date in writing by
March 8th. Please no more phone conversations which lead to
Irrespective of this, you and your promoter still have the
opportunity to apologize to the old masters and retired fighters
you have insulted through your media efforts. That would make a
It is especially this last solution which would please Mr. Boztepe
the most. That way, it would be a victory for the common cause
of all martial arts and their honor and reputation in the public
Very truly yours,
Alexander R. Wallenwein
March 6, 1995
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (R)
Dear Mr. Wallenwein:
In regards to your letter of March 3, 1995, in behalf of Mr. Emin
Boztepe, please note the following points:
1. The promoter of the UFC, made a professional and courteous
invitation to famous martial artists to satisfy the requests
of hundreds of fans all over the world, demanding such an
2. I can not control what fans write in the Internet, but I must
inform you that I do not support Mr. Boztepe being called a
3. I didn't find Mr. Boztepe's suggestion of using Benny
Urquidez's or Gene Labelle's schools as a neutral ground, to
be neutral. I thought the Police Academy would truly be
"neutral ground", because Benny Urquidez, Gene Labelle, along
with many other popular martial artists, have met there many
4. As far as scheduling something at the Police Academy you must
understand that I do not have final say in the availability
of their gym. Therefore, when I was informed of the possible
opening, I immediately passed on the information to Mr. Boztepe
who replied "I need more time."
Now for the good news. I have obtained clearance for this demonstration
to take place at the Los Angeles Police Academy, on March 9th, 10th,
or 13th at 8:00pm at their gym. The address is: 1880 N Academy Dr.,
Los Angeles, CA. Please choose one of these dates and reply to me by
fax immediately (310)782-1310.
Your requests for the conditions of the demonstration: waivers, video
taping/promotion, are all agreed upon.
Please understand that Royce Gracie, "The Ultimate Fighter", is
making an unusual exception in your case, as he does not participate
in demonstrations outside of the UFC.
Let's make sure that Mr. Boztepe does not pass up this opportunity.
Otherwise, the fans may think he was using the "gossip" on the
Internet and various other magazines, as a publicity stunt. If you
are concerned with them calling him "chicken" now, imagine what they
will call him if he does not show up at all....
Again, please fax me back immediately with the date you have chosen.
March 6, 1995
Alexander R. Wallenwein
Attorney At Law
Dear Mr. Gracie:
I am pleased to see that you are so willing to have your little
brother Royce defend your family's honor. As you know, Mr.
Boztepe has always preferred to fight you, personally, but Royce
will be an acceptable alternative.
As to the fight location, the Police Academy is unacceptable
because in the State of California fights in the nature of the
challenge match between Royce and Mr. Boztepe - full contact, no
rules, no referees, no time limits - are against the law. The
L.A. Police Department is sworn to uphold the law. They will not
tolerate such a fight without intervening when it begins to get
interesting. Whether Benny Urquidez and Gene LaBelle have met
there on occasion or not has nothing to do with the neutrality
or lack thereof of this fight location.
Your response does not comply with the conditions given in our
last letter to you. Mr. Boztepe will only fight at one of the
three magazine gyms listed there: Martial Arts Gazette, Inside
Kung Fu, or Black Belt Magazine, UNLESS the Los Angeles Chief of
Police or the Chief of the Police Academy gives a written guarantee,
on his personal stationary and signed by him, that such fights are
(a) legal in California, (b) that no law enforcement personnel
will intervene in the fight in any way until it is over, and
(c) that after the fight none of the participants or their
promoters/representatives will be charged with violating any laws.
That written guarantee should be faxed by the author directly to
If you can provide such a written guarantee, Mr. Boztepe will be
happy to choose one of the dates provided in your letter dated
March 6, 1995. If not, it is up to you to still comply with the
conditions set out in our letter of March 1, 1995.
I must make one final but crucial point: In your letter of this
date you call the fight a "demonstration". Please note once and
for all that this is not intended to be a "demonstration." It
is intended to be a no rules,no holds barred fight. One fighter
wins when the other indicates his submission by tapping out or
throwing the towel. Are the fights in the UFC also just
Please clearly state your position regarding this issue or define
what precisely you mean by that word, today, by fax. In Mr.
Boztepe and the martial art public's mind a "demonstration" is
equivalent to a "show." Please understand that this is NOT going
to be a "show." If you and your brother have any different
perception of the nature of the upcoming fight, please let us
know now. Otherwise, your brother might accidently be seriously
injured without his actual consent. You must be very clear about
Very truly yours,
Alexander R. Wallenwein
March 6, 1995
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (R)
Dear Mr. Wallenwein:
In response to your fax of March 6, 1995, what would make this
fight "legal" if we did it at Martial Arts Gazette, Inside Kung Fu,
or Black Belt Magazine? They are all located in the State of
California. Wouldn't you be legally concerned about this as well?
This is why the UFC was developed and it takes place in other
states, so there will be no legal impediments.
I agree to have Royce face Mr. Boztepe, if you have any publisher
of one of the above publications, fax to me, a confirmation of
the following: a) that such fights are legal in California;
b) no law enforcement personnel will intervene with the fight
until it is over; and c) that after the fight none of the
participants or promoters will be charged with violating any
Furthermore, they must also agree to allow only 5 people from
each camp to enter their facility - other than the press.
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER
The Highs and Lows of Winning, by Royce Gracie
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has given me a great platform for
demonstrating what my family has believed in for over 65 years: That
the techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu(R) prepare the best fighters in the
world. Winning at the UFC has made what we do very popular, and the
results are that I am getting a lot of attention, and our Academy is
growing like crazy. The publicity surrounding the UFC is very
controversial, and I receive many requests from the media for
interviews. I like to fight and I like the rewards, both emotional
The only down side to being The Ultimate Fighting Champion is the
clowns I must deal with who claim to challenge me or the Gracie
Family, and who hide behind the publicity stunt of a challenge with no
intention of meeting me in the octagon. They use the tactics of a
challenge in an attempt to discredit the integrity of my victories,
and support their weak claims of fighting superiority. They then have
the audacity to explain why they do not want or need to fight in the
I heard that there were over 400 applications for UFC IV, and many
fighters make no bones about who they are after - me! We also receive
many direct requests at the Academy from fighters who want to
challenge me, and who feel they deserve special treatment over all of
the other fighters in the UFC, because they are who they think they
are. The final insult comes when we bend over backwards to
accommodate a challenger, who then badgers us with excuses and the
fight never happens.
The most recent example is Emin Boztepe. First came his challenge,
then he told everyone why he does not need to fight in the UFC,
finally all the reasons why a scheduled fight outside the UFC will
never take place. All the while boasting of his alleged fighting
In Boztepe's original challenge letter he made two requests. First,
that he fight only a Gracie. Second, that the winner takes all the
money (Boztepe said he would donate his to charity). Boztepe was
offered a special fight with me in UFC V by Art Davie. With this
offer all the conditions of Boztepe's challenge were met, but Boztepe
then said that he would not compete at the UFC. My brother Rorion,
then went to the effort of setting up a special match at a neutral
location, the Police Academy in Los Angeles. Boztepe then said the
fight was illegal in California, and he would not compete at the
Police Academy because my brother is a "member" and therefore it is
not neutral ground. For the record, the Police Academy is not a
health club and does not have "members". Rorion sits on a civilian
panel that assists the Police Academy with its self defense training.
So does Benny Urquidez and Gene LeBell, whose honor Boztepe is
supposedly defending. Just in case this new excuse is not enough,
Boztepe has his lawyer send a list of guarantees that must be met
before the fight is scheduled. Boztepe then suggested an alternative
location, and when my brother requested the same guarantees as
requested by Boztepe's lawyers, they accused me of not wanting to
I sometimes feel like the lion tamer at a circus dealing with real
lions who have the courage to step into the octagon. I regard
individuals like Boztepe as the clowns who entertain the audience
between performances. Boztepe has an open invitation, and a
guaranteed place at any UFC, yet he cannot bring himself to enter.
He requests a private match, then assigns his lawyer the task of
making sure it never happens.
I can only conclude that Boztepe was never serious about fighting a
Gracie in the first place.
This latest example of a publicity stunt by Boztepe is the final
reason why we will no longer take challenges outside the UFC. I
respect the fighters who have the courage to step into the octagon.
The reason the Ultimate Fighting Championship was developed was to
eliminate legal impediments to staging a real life no-holds-barred
fight. Anyone who wants to fight only the Gracies, please respect
the other fighters who have the guts to compete in the UFC. This
is how to get to Royce Gracie.
April 3, 1995
My original challenge letter was addressed to the Gracie family
because Rorion promotes himself as the head of the Gracie family,
and it appeared that his actions were representative of the entire
family. It has since become quite clear that the entire problem
is with Rorion Gracie (and his partner, Art Davie). It is widely
known now that even Rorion's associates and members of his own
family have trouble with him because of some of his attitudes.
In light of this, I would like to make it quite clear that I have
no problem with any member of the Gracie family other than Rorion
Gracie. I have made it quite clear directly to Rorion that it is
him whom I wish to fight. So far he will not respond to this, and
insists that I fight his little brother Royce. I have nothing
against Royce, but will fight him if he insists on being his brother's
puppet in this matter. Rorion now is even trying to drag other
members of his family in to fight his battles for him - battles
he won't fight himself.
I would also like to make it clear exactly what has been said and
done. Art Davie, Rorion Gracie's partner in WOW Promotions which
promotes the UFCs, called me and invited me to fight in the UFC.
I explained that I only believe in fighting in self-defense, not
for sport, but thanked him for the invitation. A week later,
Gracie Jiu Jitsu students began posting messages on the Internet
essentially calling me chicken for not competing in the UFC. Since
information posted had only been discussed between myself and Art
Davie, I immediately called Art, who denied saying such things
about me and insisted that it was all a misunderstanding and that
no ill will was intended. The GJJ students later publicly apologized
on the Internet, but at least one GJJ student still keeps writing
offensive and misleading - often false - messages.
The damage was done. I did not realize at the time how powerful
a medium the Internet is for quickly and widely spreading news,
opinions, and even gossip. Over the next few months, false rumors
that I refused a direct challenge from the Gracies quickly spread
worldwide. And since the only one I had ever talked to was Art
Davie, I knew that only Art and/or his partner Rorion could be the
original source of these rumors. When the same exact thing was
later done in the martial arts press to old, respected martial
artists such as Gene LeBell, I knew that this was no simple
misunderstanding, but rather a purposeful effort on the part of
Rorion Gracie and Art Davie to promote Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the UFCs
by questioning the courage of famous and respected martial artists
around the world and even damaging their reputations. Seeing
beginning level Wing Chun people invited and placed in the UFCs and
promoted as world-class representatives of their arts only served
to strengthen my perception that Rorion Gracie (and his partner, Art
Davie) were deliberately attacking other martial artists and their
arts to build up Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the UFCs and make a fortune in
At this point I decided to respond to the Gracies' long-standing open
challenge with a counter challenge. In my letter, I asked only that
I fight only a Gracie, that the event be recorded/televised, and
that the profits after expenses go to charity. Rorion's public reply
offered me a slot in the UFC with no guarantee of fighting a Gracie.
Art Davie wrote me a letter and later called, each time threatening to
sue me if I did not publicly retract statements I made which compared
the UFCs to professional wrestling. During the phone conversation,
it was mentioned in passing that a possible special fight in the UFC
directly with Royce Gracie might be offered me. Later, a letter was
sent to Inside Kung Fu Magazine offering me the special bout. However,
since neither Art Davie nor Rorion is willing to do this for charity,
and since they are threatening to sue me and the UFC is their event,
I will not meet them under these conditions. I do not feel like
making those who would sue me any wealthier. Rorion later amended
his offer to include an offer for me to come fight Royce at Rorion's
school in Torrance.
Since it was obvious that we could not come to terms for a fight at
the UFCs, and since walking directly into their school to fight them
would not be very wise, I countered with a request that the fight be
on neutral ground, and suggested Benny Urquidez's Jet Center or Gene
LeBell's gymnasium. Rorion refused to hold the fight at either
location. About the same time, and without my prior knowledge,
the Martial Arts Gazette called Rorion and confidentially
offered their gym for the challenge match. Rorion refused the offer.
During a phone conversation on February 17th, Rorion told me that
I must fight one of their students first to prove myself worthy of
fighting Royce! Or one of my students must fight one of
theirs first. I told him this was ridiculous, and that I wanted
to fight him, Rorion. Rorion replied, "No!!! You fight Royce!"
I said, "Then I will fight you after I beat Royce," to which Rorion
would not reply. Rorion, like his promoter, prefers sitting behind
a desk in a nice suit and tie challenging and humiliating well-known
and respected martial artists of any style because they both know
that they will not fight anyway.
Rorion was supposed to call back that night with a location and date
for the fight, but did not call back until Tuesday, February 21. He
then offered to let me fight Royce at the Los Angeles Police Academy
in only two days. I asked that it be held one week later because
this was not enough notice to get the media and a professional video
team there. So the fight was scheduled for March 2 with Royce at the
LA Police Academy. Four or five days before the fight was to happen,
Rorion Gracie called me and cancelled the fight, saying that the LA
Police Academy Gym was unavailable for the fight on March 2 and that
he would call back in a couple weeks when other arrangements could
be made. After this cancellation by Rorion, both my attorney and
friends of mine within the law enforcement community advised me not
to fight at the LA Police Academy without a written guarantee that
the police would neither interfere nor bring charges against anyone.
Everyone knows that the police would not really allow a no rules,
bareknuckle fight on their property!
On March 3, my attorney sent a letter to Rorion Gracie summarizing
the events thus far and suggesting that the fight be held on March
14, 1995, at the gym of the Martial Arts Gazette, or at Inside
Kung Fu or Black Belt Magazine if Rorion preferred. He also
said that if Rorion and his promoter apologized to those they
had insulted through their media efforts no fight would be necessary
and that this was actually the preferred solution.
On March 6, 1995, Rorion Gracie responded with a letter which said:
a) The promoter of the UFC had made a professional and courteous
invitation to famous martial artists at the request of fans the
world over; b) he cannot control what "fans" write on the Internet
but that he doesn't support me being called chicken; c) he didn't
think Urquidez's or LeBell's schools were neutral; and d) he
doesn't have control of the LA Police Academy gym's schedule. He
then said he had permission for the "demonstration" to be held on
March 9, 10, or 13 and requested me to choose a date. He agreed
to waivers and taping conditions.
My attorney replied back by fax the same day saying that
a fight at the Police Academy is unacceptable (because Police are
sworn to uphold the law, and such a fight is allegedly illegal in
California) unless the Chief of Police or Chief of the Academy
provides a written guarantee that a) the fight is legal, b) the
police won't intervene, and c) no charges will be filed against
anyone. He also stated that without such a written guarantee
Rorion was still expected to comply with the original conditions
(a fight at the Martial Arts Gazette, Inside Kung Fu, or Black
Belt Magazine). Most important, he questioned Rorion's use of
the word "demonstration". Apparently, the Police were only told
that the gym was to be used for a martial arts demonstration
rather than a no rules, no referees, bareknuckle challenge fight.
Rorion responded the same day with a fax in which he wonders why
I should be concerned about fighting an allegedly illegal
fight on police property in front of police more than I would about
fighting the same allegedly illegal fight at a magazine gymnasium
(with no police present). He then states Royce will only fight at
one of the above magazine's gyms if the chosen magazine will provide
the same three written guarantees that my attorney asked of the
I feel it should be obvious that doing a no rules, bareknuckle
challenge fight on police property and in front of the police (who
are expecting a mere martial arts demonstration!) is far different
than doing a fight in front of magazine publishers who have no legal
power, especially since both sides have agreed to sign waivers not
to press any charges against the other.
So this is where it currently stands: Rorion refuses to fight me
himself. No matter what. Period. He also refuses to let the fight
be done at Gene LeBell's gym or at Benny Urquidez's Jet Center.
Rorion refused a direct, confidential, personal offer from the Martial
Arts Gazette to have the fight there. He cancelled the March 2nd,
1995 fight that was originally agreed upon at the Los Angeles Police
Academy and he refused to let Royce fight on March 14th, 1995 at the
Martial Arts Gazette or Inside Kung Fu or Black Belt Magazine.
At this point I find myself deeply surprised at Rorion Gracie's
apparent lack of honor in this situation. But his statement in one
letter that he does not support me "being called a 'chicken'" seems
to indicate that he has some honor. Now if he would just say this
about the others whom he or his associates have insulted, challenged,
or humiliated, and apologize publicly, this whole mess would be done.
Or he could just take off his suit and tie and come out from behind
his desk and fight me himself.
Chief Instructor of the AWTO
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I think it is funny that the first superfight was started because someone called Emin Boztepe a Chicken on the internet......Sorry if this is old news and been done many times before on this form.