MMA legend and UFC pioneer Royce Gracie recently made some waves for his highly publicized spat with Brazilian jiu-jitsu wiz Eddie Bravo, who famously fought Royler Gracie to a draw at March’s Metamoris 3.
The story went that an angered Royce approached Bravo as he was throwing up from a 20-minute war with Royler, a match that many felt Bravo rightfully won hands-down. Initial reports had Royce challenging Bravo to an MMA fight, but the inaugural UFC tournament champion recently spoke up to state that wasn’t the case.
Instead, Gracie is upset with Bravo because he believes his views go against the Gracie family’s name. Indeed, Bravo has been often linked with marijuana; something that Gracie believes sets a bad example for young children looking to get into Brazilian jiu-jitsu. His words to Submission Radio:
“I did what every man should do when he has an issue with a person, talk face to face. I don’t approve what he represents, you see it’s nothing to do with the match with Royler; it’s nothing to do with what with his jiu-jitsu.
It’s what he endorses, I don’t approve it. It’s disrespectful toward the art of what my father created. We teach kids, so I don’t endorse alcohol and I don’t endorse drugs.”
My issue with him is simple. I don’t like him because he endorses (drugs). It’s nothing to do with (which) jiu-jitsu he uses, gi, no gi, it’s because of what he endorses. We teach kids. His message out there is ‘it’s ok for you to do drugs.’ I don’t care (if) you say it was prescription drugs, well get a pound of pot and walk into a police station. You gonna get arrested.
Once the guy endorses pot and endorses drinking, to me that’s wrong because I have kids too. I don’t want my kids involved with pot and I don’t want my kids drinking and I did what every man should do if you have a problem, talk face to face with the person. What did he do? (Eddie Bravo) went to the Internet saying “Oh my god I saw Royce trying to kick my ass, oh he wants to beat me up, poor me’.”
The UFC’s elder statesman raises a valid point in that he doesn’t want his family’s vaunted art being grouped in with drugs and/or alcohol. And despite Bravo’s personal preferences, it’s debatable as to whether or not he actually endorses children using controlled substances.
That’s a message Gracie believes Bravo is sending, but that doesn’t mean he actually wants to fight him. He reaffirmed that he never challenged Bravo to an MMA fight:
“I never challenged him to an MMA fight. You guys are the ones that came up, you the media, that came up and said ‘do you wanna do a match with him’ I have no interest in doing a match with him unless he’s MMA. I’m an MMA fighter. Yes, I do jiu-jitsu for a living. My jiu-jitsu is with the gi. It’s the real style of jiu-jitsu, it’s with the gi and I fight MMA.”
It sounds like a slight barb at Bravo’s no gi system of grappling, making it look like even though Gracie says his beef with Bravo has nothing to do with jiu-jitsu, below the surface it truly does.
Gracie simply wants to set the story straight by saying if he were to fight Bravo, it would be in an MMA arena.
What do you make of Gracie’s comments about the beloved mat wizard? Does he make a good argument with his anti-marijuana stance, or should Bravo be left alone with his own views and outlook on life?