sosy1325 - Some interesting take aways for me so far:
The late 19th/early 20th century fight scene in Brazil was more WWF than UFC in many ways.
Every fighter was seemingly a champion of something or somewhere ("luta-livre champion of Minas Gerais, jiu jitsu champion of Rio, boxing champion of New York" etc.).
Many of the fights ended in draws or had confusing or misunderstood rules.
Yeah, I was surprised by a lot of the same stuff.
I had this romanticized notion that all the fights were "vale Tudo" style and similar to pride or something. I don't know why I thought that, I just did.
The reality, based on those news paper clippings, was quite a bit different