Without Brazil, there would be no mixed martial arts as we know it today. As an extremely proud and spirited people, the Brazilians have pushed the envelope of one-on-one competition.
In the early 20th century, the Gracie family of Brazil had started adapting Japanese martial arts into their own proprietary system that came to be called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). This system proved more effective than other fighting styles in underground fights in Brazil.
In order to prove their superiority, they started issuing challenges to anyone who would accept. This mentality of challenging others, and themselves, directly led to the development of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the US.
As regulated competition gained popularity, competitors became more well-rounded and dedicated. As the level of competition rose, Brazilians rose to the occasion.
Long known for being perhaps the greatest football (soccer) nation in history, Brazil is also perpetually confirming its reputation for having a collection of the finest mixed martial arts practitioners in the world.
From the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the relatively primitive origins of "no rules" vale tudo fights to current world champions, Brazil will forever be ingrained in the culture of mixed martial arts.
Because of this intensely rich fighting culture and history, many honorable and worthy names may not get the full recognition they deserve.