Brazilian jiu-jitsu great Ralph Gracie is currently under investigation for felony battery following an altercation with fellow coach Flavio Almeida at the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this month, according to Anaheim Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Daron Wyatt (via MMA Fighting).
Per Wyatt, a report was filed and is currently being investigated, adding that the district attorney has yet to be presented with the case to file any sort of criminal charges (if necessary).
Adding to the police report is the below video, which evidently shows Gracie getting into an argument with Almeida in the crowd before launching a vicious elbow to the face. The video, however, doesn’t show what transpired before and after the altercation between the two coaches.
According to a statement by Gracie Barra, an organization in which Almeida serves as a key executive, the BJJ coach has been advised to take some time off and rest following the attack.
“As you may know, while coaching at the World No-Gi Championships, Flavio was viciously attacked,” the statement read. “The attack was completely by surprise, was unprovoked and did not allow Flavio a chance to protect himself. It was clear that the attack was meant to hurt Flavio personally, and also to intimidate Gracie Barra. The police are involved and are investigating. Flavio’s doctors have advised him to take time to rest with this family and recover from his injuries under their care, and to resume work when he is able. We very much appreciate your concern. We will address this situation further when the time is right.”
In addition, famed MMA coach Ricardo Almeida, brother of Flavio, delivered the following message to Instagram in an attempt to find reason in the altercation:
“Once in a lifetime something happens that make you question the very foundation of what you believe in.” Almeida wrote. “ … I feel confused, betrayed and powerless. Thanks to everyone who reached out asking about my brother Flavio, he is recovering under medical care.”
Gracie, 47, failed to respond when MMA Fighting reached out for a comment. The BJJ black belt was expected to make his return to MMA under the ONE Championship banner sometime next year.
Stick with Mania for ongoing updates.