MARCH 06, 2019. If you are a fan of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and follow BJJ Heroes, you will likely be up to date on the well-documented altercation between Ralph Gracie and Flavio Almeida at the IBJJF World No-Gi Championship, two former athletes whose status is undeniable in the world martial arts.
The confrontation, reported by BJJ Heroes on December 17, 2018 was arguably the most egregious news of the year in our sport – only surpassed by Erberth Santos’ recent kerfuffle at the BJJ Stars event.
Renzo Gracie had touched the subject of his brother’s altercation with the well known Flávio “Cachorrinho” Almeida in the past, but had not yet discussed the case in depth as he did in this recent interview given to the legendary BJJ reporter Marcelo Alonso of the Portal do Vale Tudo (PVT) podcast.
In a long monologue, in true Renzo Gracie fashion, the famous RGA founder referenced that “Carlinhos Gracie won’t answer my calls, he won’t talk to me anymore. It’s like I attacked Gracie Barra.” he said of his cousin Carlinhos (a family member who was also one of Renzo’s mentors in this martial art) due to his lack of support shown over the current feud.
It is worth referencing to illustrate how close Carlinhos and Renzo were, that it was Renzo who had the honor of leading Carlos Gracie Junior’s coral belt award ceremony back in 2008. Renzo continued: “In their heads they think that I or that someone orchestrated the altercation, but the problem is, Ralph, is really that wild.”
“He [Ralph] had been calling and trying to contact ‘Cachorrinho’ [Flávio Almeida] to talk, he kept trying and trying. ‘We need to talk, we need to talk’. Cachorrinho ghosted him. Wouldn’t answer his messages, answer or return Ralph’s calls, so this was boiling up, pressure building. When they finally met at the venue, he answered in a rude manner… Man, I know Ralph, if you ‘bump chests’ [expression] or take him for a fool, you have a fight in your hands, plain and simple. Dude, when I have a heated argument with him I always keep my hands up and take two steps back, because I know he might blow up.”
“But the truth is, this was a real shame. I love Cachorrão, he is a super guy. Lived in my house for 1.5 years when he was 19. I helped him out in every possible way, I still do, he is like a son to me. But he put me in a worst situation than Carlinhos [Gracie].“ Renzo continued, “Carlinhos was like ‘Porra, you are Gracie Barra!’ and started believing that… reality is, two of my family members [referencing Ralph and Flávio] had a fight.”
“Flávio lost teeth that he didn’t have. He just lost his veneers. Those teeth had been lost in a street fight against the son of ‘Papai Noel de Quintino’ [reference to Albano Reis, a Brazilian politician whose son was a known playboy-gangster from Rio de Janeiro. The son had a famous altercation with Flávio which happened many years ago], but people make a drama, make a story up, etc. We need to be very careful these days with this new victimization. Everybody is a victim today, like that kid who paid to get beat up and act like it was a violent attack against gay people [meaning Jussie Smollett], this was a scandal here in the US.”
Full Interview Here – Portuguese only (Raph x Almeida starts at 43m mark)