Jiu-jitsu prodigy Roberto Jimenez says he will still be training under his father, Raul, following their team’s split from the Alliance affiliation.
Days ago, Raul shared a video on social media explaining that his academy, Studio 76 Jiu-Jitsu Las Vegas, would be “moving on” due to being unable to pay affiliation fees, saying that he lost 50 percent of his students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said that an email from the Alliance headquarters told him to take down anything with their logo at his academy.
The black belt recounted his side of the story to the Jiu-Jitsu Times:
“Last week, I paid the amount of $2,500 that was delayed for some merchandise that I ordered from Alliance, and I can’t return it; they won’t take it back from me. I was good with my professor [Romero] “Jacare” [Cavalcante], everything was fine, but I got a big surprise when the next day, I paid and had no debt left over. They asked me if I was going to pay for the month or the year with the same card or a different one. And I told them that I couldn’t because I don’t have the means at the moment.
“Not content with the fact that I had to look for and sell things to pay them, they wanted to collect the franchise fee. After I told them that I couldn’t and I had to first look out for my family and see if we can make it out and move forward with the business, they sent me an email [saying] that I am no longer a part of the team and to take down everything about Alliance — I can’t use anything from them, and if I do, they’ll sue me. And now I have to see how I can sell the merchandise that I already paid them for and take down all of my sites, stickers, and banners from Alliance inside and outside my academy. What a shame — so much time representing [them]. They aren’t giving me the opportunity this year to continue with them and recover to be able to continue as a team… money talks, my friend.”
Raul expressed his determination to continue under his own banner and help his son achieve his goals. “Now, we’re just going to represent our own logo and continue the same as we always have: always fighting and winning. Roberto and I will continue, always united as a family, and we’ll continue helping him with everything he wants help with. I hope to one day see him become a black belt world champion and win everything that he can win, thus becoming an example for many new generations to come.”
Roberto told the Jiu-Jitsu Times that he will continue to train under and represent his father’s team, but has “no hard feelings” toward Alliance.
“I’ve always been with my dad and that’s how it’s going to be… I respect [the Alliance team] as I hope they do me, and more than anything, I’m happy to be on good terms with Lucas Lepri who I’m grateful for helping me evolve and expand my knowledge on and off the mat.”
Alliance and founder Fabio Gurgel declined to comment on the situation. The Jiu-Jitsu Times has also reached out to Cavalcante and will update this article if we receive a response.