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Ralph Gracie Statement Regarding Flavio Almeida Altercation

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Nicholas Meregali Instructionals

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.

Roberto Jimenez BJJ Attacking The Back


  • TSB says:

    Uh… no. Watching the video in full context does NOT lead one to conclude that this was “mutual combat”. Unless of course Flavio was pummeling Ralph with words and Ralph lacks a sufficient vocabulary to fight back with, then it was obviously mutual combat.

    Why are some lawyers such jackholes?

  • Jimmy Jiu says:

    This was a terrible blemish on our sport and art form. Ralph thinks this is the 1980’s in Rio, or something. Almeida was clearly not expecting a fight, looking at the video. I hope he presses charges and Ralph gets the full extent of the law pushed against him. Two coaches at a Tournament is far from “mutual combat.” Renzo, Ralph and Ryan are (and were) all legendary figures. The NYC nightclub thing with Renzo was strange. Luckily that got swept away. Ryan was a polarizing figure with a tragic life and an even more tragic ending. Ralph should issue a public apology and offer to pay any medical bills, IMO. Rumor hasn’t it that this is all because GB is planning on opening gyms in SF. Like I mentioned before, this isn’t the 80’s. We are in te U.S., where we thrive on a free, capitalist open market. I hope Justice is served on this one. I’m surprised no one has chimes in on here yet. Just my opinion.

  • LOPOLOP says:

    Ralph = Douche-burger with rotten sardines.

  • David Wisniewski says:

    The Japanese always had great respect for their art and other persons. Renzo and Ralph and the other thugs learning this art are a disgrace. Makes me want to invest time and money in catch as can or MMA think others should follow Gracies making millions and looking down at the rest of us don’t have to follow our law? Law looks the other way!!! WOW DJW

  • Otario says:

    That’s a good elbow

  • Barnes says:

    As I type this I’m watching “The Godfather” on AMC and the resemblance is uncanny to what’s going on here.

    Before you know it someone will be sending someone a brown package of fish!

  • Mat says:

    Lol @ an attorney begging the other party not to take it to court.
    Scumbag knows his client loses 10/10 times if that happens.

  • M F N says:

    As many times as I watch this, I can’t find any excuses for Ralph’s behavior. An “unspoken rule” that the San Francisco Bay was “his” territory??? WTF??? Seriously??? You better come up with a better story than that! The only thing that could justify something like this would be a direct threat against his family. Obviously, if THAT has not been mentioned by Ralph at all, it didn’t happen. So basically Ralph started arguing w him about moving into his territory and Flavio probably said something like, “Leave me alone, Ralph. Don’t be ridiculous. We can establish academies where we want and so can you,” and Ralph sucker punched him. I’m guessing that it went something like that. No excuse. Assault and battery with full video documentation.

  • x1134x says:

    That side of the family needs their Gracie name revoked.

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