Over the past few days, the jiu-jitsu community has been abuzz with reports that Ralph Gracie had allegedly assaulted Flavio Almeida at IBJJF No-Gi Worlds last weekend. After the initial rumors had spread, Ricardo Almeida issued a statement that seemed to confirm the allegations, and yesterday, Dan Lukehart shared a video of Gracie clearly elbowing Flavio in the face during a matside conversation.
Now, a member of Gracie’s legal team has spoken about the incident on Gracie’s behalf. James Cook (who also has experience in martial arts, according to BJJ Heroes) contacted BJJ Heroes with a statement regarding the altercation:
“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.”
The Jiu-Jitsu Times will continue to provide updates on this story as they become available.