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GENE LEBELL DEAD AT 89 Legendary Stuntman, Martial Artist, Wrestler

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The legendary “Judo” Gene LeBell — presumably probably the most badass man to ever stroll the earth — has died on the age of 89, and a number of the largest sports activities stars on this planet are exhibiting love in mild of his passing.

LeBell handed away Tuesday … abandoning an incomparable legacy in blended martial arts and wrestling.

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Nicknamed the “Godfather of Grappling,” LeBell’s journey to stardom started when he gained the heavyweight and general Beginner Athletic Union Nationwide Judo Championships in 1954 and 1955.

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LeBell is extensively credited with introducing catch wrestling and grappling methods to professional wrestling and MMA.

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Talking of MMA … lengthy earlier than Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock fought at UFC 1 (1993), Gene fought within the first televised bout in America in 1963.

Gene, together with his judo and grappling, beat top-ranked light-heavyweight boxer Milo Savage.

LeBell additionally educated a few of Hollywood’s largest names like Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee.

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Gene and Bruce first met throughout filming of the TV present “The Inexperienced Hornet” … and have become associates, typically coaching collectively.

He additionally served because the referee for Muhammad Ali’s crossover bout with Antonio Inoki in 1976.

Gene, additionally an actor and stuntman, appeared in tons of of flicks (there is a completely unverified story about LeBell and Steven Seagal going at it on set — look it up).

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Experience apart, LeBell was revered for his relationships with fighters and wrestlers over his storied profession, most notably former UFC girls’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

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Gene educated Rousey (a former Judo star) … and he additionally labored with WWE legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the inspiration for the “Rowdy Ronda” character.

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On Wednesday, Ronda posted a photograph of her and Gene collectively … captioning the pic, “Legend.”

Triple H, a 14-time WWE champ, took to Twitter to precise his gratitude and appreciation for Gene’s contributions to the business over time.

“Gene LeBell remained a towering determine within the historical past and growth of blended martial arts and sports activities leisure,” HHH wrote. “A instructor to lots of the sport’s greats, his affect is felt all through @WWE to today.”

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“Our ideas are together with his household and family members at the moment.”

Unimaginable life.

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