Over the weekend rumors started circling Ralph Gracie was in a vicious altercation at Nogi worlds with Gracie Barra leader Flavio Almeida.
But what exactly happened?
Here’s how Dan Lukehart explained it:
IBJJF has reacted by issuing a statement:
Traditionally, IBJJF policy mandates that any disciplinary actions are dealt with internally between the Federation and the affected parties. Likewise, any sanctions that ultimately may be imposed are not publicly announced by the Federation. However, given the nature of the alleged incident at the 2018 World No-Gi Championships, the Federation is compelled to take immediate action as follows:
The alleged perpetrators have been immediately and indefinitely suspended from any and all IBJJF sanctioned events. Said suspension includes attending, competing, coaching or in any way participating in IBJJF events. Once our investigation has been completed and a final decision reached, we will update you accordingly. In the meantime, we assure you that the alleged conduct will not be tolerated under any circumstance.
A video has finally surfaced where you can see the incident.
Uploaded again by Dan Lukehart:
Ralph Gracie’s Attorney James Cook contacted BJJEE and released the following statement:
I am the attorney who intends to represent Ralph Gracie in the event there are subsequent legal disputes. I reviewed the video and I had an opportunity to discuss the incident with Ralph Gracie. Ralph would like to tell his side of the story about events leading up to the altercation. However, I strongly advised him to say nothing.
I cannot disclose too many details about Ralph’s side of the story given attorney-client considerations. However, I can say that the video does not capture the full spectrum of words and actions leading up to the incident. To view the video within the full context, it is easy to conclude that altercation should be characterized as mutual combat.
It’s worth noting that the incident took place at a combat sporting event, where the spectators are usually competitors. As such, the line between regulated competition and real-life competition is often blurred. Frequently, emotions run high and the contest continues off the mats and after the buzzer. Flavio Almeia and Ralph Gracie are iconic competitors and instructors for our sport. They are not strangers to off-the-mat confrontations. I believe that any further dispute can and should be resolved quickly and without court intervention.
Gracie Barra’s Marcio Feitosa responded on instagram . Feitosa said that the Police are involved and are investigating:
“Thank you for your concern. As you may know, while coaching at the World No-Gi Championships, Flavio was viciously attacked by Ralph Gracie and one of Ralph’s students. The attack was completely by surprise, was unprovoked and did not allow Flavio a chance to protect himself. It was clear that the attack was meant to hurt Flavio personally, and also to intimidate Gracie Barra. The police are involved and are investigating. Flavio’s doctors have advised him to take time to rest with this family and recover from his injuries under their care, and to resume work when he is able. We very much appreciate your concern. We will address this situation further when the time is right.”
To which Flavio Almeida’s older brother, Ricardo Almeida made his own statement on instagram. This is quite interesting since Ricardo Almeida is a student of Renzo Gracie, who is Ralph Gracie’s older brother. Ricardo Almeida is so attached to his master that he named his own son Renzo..
Word is that the attack was due to a territorial conflict for academies between Ralph Gracie and Gracie Barra over the San Francisco area.
This is not the first time that Ralph Gracie attacked somebody at a BJJ tournament. He famously attacked MMA fighter Bobby Southworth in 2002 in California while Southworth was on crutches.
Almeida said that he felt betrayed:
Once in a lifetime something happens that make you question the very foundation of what you believe in … I feel confused, betrayed and powerless. Thanks to everyone who reached out asking about my brother Flavio, he is recovering under medical care. …………..
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