Ralph Gracie Indicted on Felony Assault Charges After Fleeing Country

Image Source: Ralph Gracie via Instagram

Gracie family legacy, black belt, and UFC veteran Ralph Gracie has been indicted on felony assault charges by a grand jury in Orange County, California. The latest installment of the aftermath from Gracie’s attack on fellow black belt Flavio Almeida back in 2018 at IBJJF No-Gi Worlds, the indictment was handed down on September 27, roughly a month after Gracie failed to appear in court back in August. At one point it seemed unlikely Gracie would be appearing in court anytime soon, as the California-based gym owner had fled to his native Brazil. Sources say he is now back in California of his own accord.

Gracie’s lawyer offered one of the more baffling explanations for the 2018 attack, which took place between Gracie and Almeida while the pair stood on the sidelines of the international competition. (Almeida was on crutches at the time, and video of the assault seems to show Gracie blindsiding him with an elbow to the face before kicking Almeida while he was down.)

“It’s worth noting that the incident took place at a combat sporting event, where the spectators are usually competitors,” said Gracie’s lawyer, James Cook, back in January. “As such, the line between regulated competition and real-life competition is often blurred. Frequently, emotions run high and the contest continues off the mats and after the buzzer.”

Which is not entirely untrue, but neither Gracie nor Almeida were competing that day, nor had either been engaged in a contest with one another that could have continued off the buzzer. Sources say the actual reason for the altercation was Gracie’s displeasure with the expansion of Gracie Barra (Almeida’s home gym) into “his” territory, threatening Ralph Gracie BJJ’s membership. Gracie owns four gyms in the Northern California area.

Gracie was allegedly joined in the attack by Lincoln Pereira, another black belt who has been identified as one of Gracie’s students though he trains out of another gym. Training partners of Pereira’s have told Jiu-Jitsu Times that Pereira’s involvement was minimal, if any, and that the athlete was unfairly used as a scapegoat in the ugly event. Nonetheless, Pereira has already pled guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to time served.

Both Gracie and Pereira were banned from all IBJJF events following the assault.

“The O.C. District Attorney’s Office will continue to seek justice for victims regardless of the geographical obstacles in our way,” DA Todd Spitzer said in a statement on Friday.


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