BJJ black belt and instructor Ralph Gracie was sentenced by a US court to six months in prison for his assault on GB North America President Flavio Almeida.
First reported by Brazilian news outlet Globo this past Monday, the sentencing includes three years of probation along with anger management training for the martial artist. Gracie was also fined $50,000 and forbidden from leaving the United States, according to Almeida’s legal team.
The lengthy trial was set off by Ralph attacking Almeida at the 2018 IBJJF No-Gi Worlds. As previously reported by the JJT, the incident seemed to be triggered by a business disagreement between the two grapplers.
“He [Ralph] asked me, ‘Did you open up a school in my area?’ And I said, ‘Ralph, you need to talk about this with your uncle.’ Then he hit me with his right elbow,” Almeida said on a December, 2019 episode of the JJT Podcast.
Since then, the saga has been filled with attempts to flee the law, failure to show up for court appearances, and several lost teeth. Through the process, GB officials have been hoping for a fair but merciful outcome.
“They [Gracie & Co.] should know that we will see this through to the very end when justice is served,” Gracie Barra’s Head of School Development for North America Dave Weber said in October of last year.
GB North America has given the following statement on the matter exclusively to the JJT:
After over two years since the vicious attack, we’re pleased that the criminal proceedings have reached a conclusion, and justice will be served.
We’d like to thank the Orange County District Attorney’s office for their diligent work on this case.
This pursuit of justice was always about something much bigger than the prosecution of the two aggressors.
What drove us through this very challenging legal battle was the desire to turn this unfortunate episode into something positive for our sport.
Our goal was to set an example of professionalism, resilience, and respect that could contribute to elevating the ethical and moral standards in Jiu-Jitsu.
We hope that this will serve as a strong statement against this type of outdated destructive behavior and that the ultimate consequence of the incident will be a stronger and healthier future for Jiu-Jitsu.
Gracie Barra looks forward to putting this dark chapter in our history behind us, and continue our mission of teaching Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone.
Though this unsightly chapter in BJJ history looks to be over, the JJT will continue to follow this story should it evolve.