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Gene LeBell has passed away at 89 years old.

Bas Rutten broke the news on Facebook that LeBell, who had an influence on pro wrestling and MMA, had passed away.

“My deepest condolences to his lovely wife Midge, his kids and all his other family members and friends,” he wrote. “You will be greatly missed Gene, I love you my friend, till we meet again!”

LeBell started catching wrestling when he was 7 years old and trained under Ed “Strangler” Lewis. He later trained in judo and was also trained by Karl Gotch and Lou Thesz.

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LeBell won an early MMA match in 1963 when he submitted boxer Milo Savage with a rear-naked choke. In wrestling, he was part of NWA Hollywood Wrestling from 1968 through 1982 and served as the referee for the Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki match in 1976.

His last wrestling bout came against The Rock’s grandfather, Peter Maivia, in 1981 under the NWA Hollywood Wrestling banner.

Ronda Rousey became close with him in recent years as he would walk out with Rousey during her MMA career. The WWE star has yet to comment on his passing.