DECEMBER 21, 2018. After our recent article regarding the well-documented altercation between Ralph Gracie and Flavio Almeida at the IBJJF World No-Gi Championship, we were contacted by James Cook – a member of Mr. Gracie’s legal team, who wanted to unveil his client’s version of the events that led to this troubling episode.
James is himself a former professional kickboxer, and Fairtex Muay Thai representative, as well as a student of the late Alex Gong. Cook who is now a full-time attorney, as well as a part-time BJJ practitioner under the Ralph Gracie lineage, proposed, initially that Ralph explained his side of the events, in his own words, however, a recent change in the dynamics of this storyline has frustrated those initial plans.
This backtracking has come about due to the release of a video (below the version supplied by Dan Lukehart), which depicts the altercation between Ralph, Flavio, and possibly a member of the Renzo Gracie team, whose name we will leave unrevealed for now as we do not have full confirmation. With that said, we will leave here an unedited version of the statement by Ralph Gracie’s attorney, Mr. James Cook.
“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. Emotions often run high and disputes materialize off the mats. Regardless, Flavio Almeida and Ralph Gracie are icons of our sport. Because of this, I believe that any further dispute can and should be resolved quickly and without court intervention.”
It seems clear that we do not have the whole narrative of this story just yet, and that more details will surely be revealed in the upcoming days. So far we have seen Ralph Gracie remain active on his social media, particularly on Instagram where he recently posted a curious quote which could be seen as a defiant one. It read: “A black belt only covers two inches of your ass. You have to cover the rest.” (see here), which showcased a picture of his brother and Roger Gracie.
To have a better understanding of what happened at the No-Gi World Championship, here is the video of the altercation, as published by Mr. Lukehart today. We are in possession of a longer video version of the events, but this has not yet been uploaded.