The Chute Boxe Academy ([ˈʃutʃi ˈbɔksi], Kick-Boxing) opened as a Muay Thai academy in 1978 in Curitiba, Brazil. Head trainer Rudimar Fedrigo later expanded the program in 1991 to include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other aspects of modern mixed martial arts. By 1995, the Chute Boxe team was considered a prime training ground for Vale Tudo fighters. In 2004, an American branch, Chute Boxe USA, was established in Los Angeles, California.
Chute Boxe fighters are characterized by being extremely aggressive and physical, as well as well-rounded fighters, able to use submissions, punches, kicks, and various grappling styles as needed.
The Chute Boxe team first made a name for themselves in the MMA world during the late 1990s in the Brazilian vale tudo promotion known as the IVC. With an aggressive and physical style focused around their muay thai skills, Chute Boxe fighters captured three of the four title belts in the promotion (Wanderlei Silva winning the light heavyweight belt, José Landi-Jons winning the middleweight belt, and Rafael Cordeiro winning the lightweight belt). The promotion ended up serving as a spring board for the Chute Boxe team (as well as many other Brazilian MMA stars) into the lucrative Japanese MMA market. For Chute Boxe specifically, it would help to launch their careers in Japan's PRIDE FC.
The major cog of the Chute Boxe machine in PRIDE was Wanderlei Silva. Known for an exciting, brawling style complete with lethal knees and leaping stomps, he would exemplify Chute Boxe style martial arts in PRIDE’s middleweight division and eventually win the 2003 PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix and the PRIDE FC middleweight title which he would hold for 5 1/2 years.
Coming off of a disappointing five-round decision loss to Tito Ortiz at UFC 25: Ultimate Japan, Silva would return to PRIDE to earn the biggest victory of his career to that point over the Lion’s Den’s Guy Mezger. It would be 20 fights and over four years before he would lose again in a controversial decision to superheavyweight Mark Hunt. During this span he defeated notable fighters Kazushi Sakuraba (three times), Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (twice), Yuki Kondo, Ikuhisa Minowa, Hidehiko Yoshida, Kiyoshi Tamura, Dan Henderson, Alexander Otsuka, Shungo Oyama, Hiromitsu Kanehara, and would draw with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović.
His aura of invincibility wouldn’t truly be broken until a decision loss to Ricardo Arona in the 2005 PRIDE FC middle weight Grand Prix. His loss would be avenged later that night by teammate and rising star, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
As the older of the Rua brothers, Murilo “Ninja” Rua had a medicore run during his years with PRIDE FC. Wins over Mario Sperry, Akira Shoji and Alexander Otsuka established him as a contender in the organization. His younger brother Mauricio "Shogun" Rua would also enter the PRIDE fighting championships and would prove the most successful fighter produced by Chute Boxe under Wanderlei Silva's and Ninja's guidance.
Younger than Murilo by about a year and a half, “Shogun” has defeated a who’s who list of fighters including Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Akira Shoji, Akihiro Gono, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Alistair Overeem (twice), Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin. Shogun was the UFC light heavyweight champion until losing his first title defense against Jon Jones at UFC 128. His exciting, fan-friendly style includes much of the standard Chute Boxe Muay Thai clinch work, knees, stomps, and soccer kicks, as well as polished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The opposite number in terms of Brazilian dominance in PRIDE FC was the Brazilian Top Team which was comprised, at the time, of such fighters as Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, and Murilo Bustamante. Competition between the two teams was hardly limited to the Pride scene however. Matches between fighters of the two organizations had taken place in Brazil, Portugal and other parts of the world before, but perhaps the most interesting chapter of the rivalry took place on August 28, 2005 at the 2005 PRIDE FC middle weight Grand Prix.
The 2005 PRIDE FC middleweight Grand Prix would be the first such competition for newcomers Mauricio Rua and BTT’s Ricardo Arona. Both scored impressive victories over highly regarded veterans Alistair Overeem and middleweight champ Wanderlei Silva respectively. It was Arona’s victory over the latter that would stoke the flames of the rivalry because until then Silva had been the torch-bearer for Chute Boxe. Later that night, however, “Shogun” would pick up the torch with a thoroughly dominating first round KO of Arona, ultimately finishing him on the ground which was considered Arona’s strength.
Another noticeable aspect of this period is that it shortly followed the departure of promising prospect Anderson Silva. Silva had noted several disputes with Chute Boxe's management as reasons for leaving the team and shortly began training with some of Brazilian Top Team's best in the Nogueira brothers. He was quoted in an ESPN article as stating that friendships formed with his former rivals helped to save his career upon his departure from Chute Boxe.
With the demise of PRIDE FC in late 2007, coinciding with the departure of its first mass-appeal superstar Wanderlei Silva around the same time, Chute Boxe entered a new era. Moreover, the Rua brothers, Mauricio and Murilo, and Andre "Dida" Amade, also departed Chute Boxe to start their own gym. However, up and coming fighters, such as lightweight Jean Silva, have augmented their talent. In addition, fighter Evangelista Santos has recently competed in Strikeforce as well as his ex-wife, female fighter Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, who is currently Chute Boxe's most marketable fighter.Wanderlei Silva (former PRIDE Middleweight Champion) -> Left Chute Boxe in 2007 to train with Xtreme Couture, in 2008 Silva opened a new gym under the banner "Wand Fight Team".
Mauricio Rua (PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix champion and former UFC champion lightheavy weight) -> Left Chute Boxe in 2007 and founded Universidade da luta
Murilo Rua (former Elite XC Middleweight Champion) -> Left Chute Boxe in 2007 and founded Universidade da luta
Anderson Silva (Former UFC middleweight champion) -> Left Chute Boxe in 2003 to start MuayThai Dream Team. Left MuayThai Dream Team to start at Black House.
Gabriel Gonzaga -> Left Chute Boxe in 2006 to move to Ludlow, Massachusetts and join Team Link.
Assuerio Silva -> Left Chute Boxe in 2003 to start MuayThai Dream Team.
Thiago Silva Left Chute Boxe in 2008 and joined American Top Team
Kazushi Sakuraba Trained with former rival Wanderlei Silva at Chute Boxe in preparation for his bout with Ken Shamrock in 2005.
Andre Dida -> Left Chute Boxe in 2007 and founded Universidade da luta
Cristiano Marcello -> Left Chute Boxe in 2009 to go full force with his own martial arts academy, CM System.
Jorge Patino -> (Current LFC Welterweight Champion, former Vale Tudo Champion) Started Gold Team Fighters USA/Gold Team Fighters Houston. Established other Gold Team academies across the globe.
Mariusz Linke -> First polish born BJJ black belt, briefly trained with Cristiano Marcello and Jorge Patino.