Most Hated Grapplers in Jiu-Jitsu History: Controversy and Conflict in a Tight-Knit Community

Most Hated Grapplers in Jiu-Jitsu History: Controversy and Conflict in a Tight-Knit Community

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a rapidly growing sport with a passionate and tight-knit community. As with any competitive arena, certain figures within BJJ have attracted a significant amount of controversy and criticism. While some of the disdain directed at these individuals stems from their competitive success, other cases involve unethical behavior or attitudes that clash with the values of the sport. Here, we delve into the stories of some of the most hated figures in BJJ history.

AJ Agazarm: The Antagonist

AJ Agazarm is notorious for his abrasive and confrontational behavior both on and off the mats. His antics during competitions, which include taunting opponents and engaging in aggressive conduct, have earned him a reputation as a polarizing figure. Many in the BJJ community view his behavior as unsportsmanlike and damaging to the sport’s image.

Brendan Schaub: The Metamoris Incident

Retired UFC fighter Brendan Schaub, a brown belt under the Gracie Academy, faced severe backlash for his performance at Metamoris 2 against Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. Schaub’s strategy of avoiding engagement, leading to a draw, was derisively termed ‘Schaubing’. Despite his defense that his presence brought more exposure to Jiu-Jitsu, many saw his approach as antithetical to the competitive spirit of the sport.

Erberth Santos: The Arrogant Bad Boy & Criminal

Erberth Santos has garnered a reputation as the “bad boy” of Jiu-Jitsu due to his arrogant demeanor and aggressive actions during competitions. His controversial behavior includes prematurely celebrating when opponents are injured and switching teams frequently. A notable incident involved an altercation where Santos threw elbows at a smaller opponent, leading to disqualification and further damaging his reputation. Last year, he was arrested in Brazil for burglary and r*pe.

Rousimar Palhares: Holding On to Submissions

Rousimar Palhares is infamous for his dangerous habit of holding onto submission holds for too long, even after opponents have tapped out. This reckless behavior has not only injured competitors but also earned him a reputation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Palhares’ actions have led to suspensions and widespread condemnation within the BJJ and MMA communities.

Cameron Earle: Convicted Criminal

Cameron Earle, a once-prominent figure in BJJ, is currently serving a life sentence for multiple cases of rape. His criminal actions have cast a long shadow over his career and contributed to his status as one of the most reviled figures in the sport’s history.

Dillon Danis: The Troublemaker

Dillon Danis

Dillon Danis is known for his brash and controversial behavior, including his involvement in the infamous Khabib incident and his tendency to act ostentatiously. Despite his skills on the mat, his actions and attitude have alienated many in the BJJ community.

Rorion Gracie: The Historical Manipulator

Rorion Gracie, a 9th degree red belt and co-founder of the UFC, has been a divisive figure due to his alleged manipulation of Jiu-Jitsu history. Critics accuse him of emphasizing his father Helio Gracie’s role over his uncle Carlos Gracie’s contributions. His legal battles with family members over trademark rights have further tarnished his image within the BJJ community.

Rener Gracie: The Online Belt Controversy

Rener Gracie with his 32 Principles book

Rener Gracie, co-creator of the Gracie University online platform, has faced criticism for his approach to belt promotions and his non stop used car salesman approach to Jiu-Jitsu. The online system for awarding belts, which initially included receiving a “technical blue belt” by mail, sparked backlash from traditionalists who saw it as undermining the integrity of BJJ. Rener threw fellow BJJ instructor Sinistro Ituralde under the bus when he testified against him, in the 46 million dollar lawsuit last year, over the injured student. Despite the controversy, Gracie University remains a successful venture with a large student base.

Ralek Gracie: The Metamoris Controversy

Ralek Gracie

Ralek Gracie, son of Rorion, has been heavily criticized for his management of the professional grappling promotion Metamoris. Issues such as scheduling conflicts, disrespect towards female competitors, and financial mismanagement have led to significant backlash from the BJJ community.

Lloyd Irvin: Cult Allegations

Lloyd Irvin Jr., a BJJ black belt and head coach of Team Lloyd Irvin, faced severe backlash following allegations of cult-like behavior within his organization. The negative publicity, stemming from incidents involving his students, led to the departure of several prominent members and damaged his reputation within the BJJ community.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community, while built on principles of respect and discipline, is not without its controversies. The figures highlighted here have, through their actions and attitudes, attracted significant criticism and, in some cases, genuine animosity. Their stories serve as reminders of the complex human dynamics within any sport, where the line between admiration and disdain can be remarkably thin.

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