Gene LeBell has Died!

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Tex Hollywood - August 10, 2022

Gene LeBell may not be a household name, but he is trending on Twitter, so I figure it is only fitting to give the 89 year old a proper send off, as her goes and grapples in the afterlife.

He was called the "Godfather of Grappling" who was not only a judo and wrestling champion, but also a stuntman who trained Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ronda Rousey and many more.

He inspired the Brad Pitt Character in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood .

As a stuntman in the movies, John Wayne punched him in the face in Big Jim McLain , Elvis Presley kicked him between the eyes in Blue Hawaii , Burt Reynolds kicked him in the nuts in Hard Time and even tough guy Steve Martin took him down in The Jerk , to which LeBell said "the more you get hit in the nose, the richer you are"

No details of his death have been released, but at 89 years old, he had a good run and we don't really need the gory, or not so gory details.

Ivan Gene LeBell was born in Los Angeles on Oct. 9, 1932. His mother, promoted fights and was the first woman inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. He moved to Japan to study judo and won U.S. titles in the '50s. He then got into wrestling in the 60s and participated in what some credit as the first televised mixed martial arts match on Dec. 2, 1963.

He was loved by many and lived an inspiring and epic full life!

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