Ralph Gracie shares prison story about pissing off Mexican gang member

Ralph Gracie's prison tales, a disgruntled manager, the return of medieval MMA and much more on the Brazil Beat.

By: Lucas Rezende | 1 week ago
Ralph Gracie shares prison story about pissing off Mexican gang member
BJJ star Ralph Gracie. Gallerr/YouTube

It’s Thursday, once again! This means it’s time for another roundup of some of the most interesting stories to shake up the Brazilian fighting community, all conveniently put together in one place by yours truly. Yes, it is time for another fresh edition of the Brazil Beat.

This time around, we have got a member of the legendary Gracie family sharing prison stories, a manager shedding some light on how he felt about parting ways with a UFC champion and even some fighters going medieval in Brazil. Of course that’s not all of it, as there’s plenty more to talk about.

So let’s get right to it.

Ralph Gracie argued with a Mexican gang member in prison

In the top story of this week, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt Ralph Gracie shared a scary story about the time he had to do three months in penitentiary alongside some Mexican gang members.

For those unfamiliar, Gracie was sentenced to jail after assaulting Flavio Almeida, the younger brother of UFC vet Ricardo Almeida, by elbowing him in the face while both men were watching a jiu-jitsu competition in 2018. The strike knocked a couple of teeth out of Almeida’s mouth and left the man convulsing on the ground.

Because of the incident, Gracie was sentenced to six months in jail, of which he only did three. But he blackbelt also had to pay a 50 thousand dollar fine and was banned from all International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation events, as a trainer, coach or just a watcher.

Video footage of the event caught the exact moment Gracie assaulted Almeida on camera.

Once in prison, Gracie had to learn the hard way some of the unwritten rules of the institution, especially when he had to share his cell with some dangerous individuals. In a conversation with podcast Pura Connection (transcribed by Tatame), Gracie explained some of the most tense interactions he had while doing his time.

“I was in a cell with one of the leaders of a gang, but we were in a part of the cell where there were more people. Then one guy started cleaning the sink and toilet. He was alone. I didn’t know about the rules. I walked over, pulled my d-ck out and took a piss. The Mexican walked over and said I was disrespecting him. Then we argued.”

“Another thing is that you can’t call another guy a ‘bitch’ and I did. He was staring at me and I asked him what he was going to do. There was a guy with me who told me not to say that. He explained to me that if they knew that I called a guy a bitch and he didn’t do anything, he would be f-cked. In a situation like that, either he fights the guy who called him that or he’s going to fight the other guys.”

Wallid Ismail still bitter about Deiveson Figueiredo

Moving on from Ralph Gracie’s troubled past, we have a story about a long relationship coming to an end. Wallid Ismail may be one of the most well-known figures in the Brazilian MMA, outside of active fighters. Always speaking on the behalf of his athletes and trying to cut promos in the Octagon, the mean-mugging manager makes his presence known every time one of his guys is in a fight.

In fact, one of Ismail’s most popular fighters used to be former UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, but ‘Deus da Guerra’ decided to part ways with his manager in June of 2022, leaving Ismail disgruntled in the process.

Since then, the manager has called Figueiredo some names for his decision to cut their professional relationship, with the main one being: ‘ungrateful’. Recently, in an interview on Fabricio Werdum’s podcast ‘Nem me Viu’ (transcribed by Combate), Ismail explained why he had such feelings about the way Deus da Guerra parted ways with him.

“I can say that I raised the guy. I raised him. He had no money. I fought for him. I fought with the UFC (for him). When they tried to get him out of his fight in Abu Dhabi, I called Hunter (Cambpbell) and said; ‘It’s going to be a scandal. This guy had COVID six months ago. You can’t remove him.’ I always had a strong influence with the media. Hunter listened to me and let him fight. That’s when he won in Abu Dhabi.”

“When he lost to Brando Moreno, the guys told me he wasn’t fighting for the belt anymore. I said ‘No. Deiveson is only fighting the same day Moreno fights’. They tried to pair him up with some other guys, but I would only accept him to fight the same day as Moreno. Then when the day of the fight was coming up, Mick Maynard called me to say Deiveson would fight Moreno. Deiveson couldn’t believe. He thanked me and said he didn’t believe the fight would happen anymore.

“I liked the son of a gun. That’s makes me angry. I liked him. He disappointed me deeply. I hope he lives a happy life, though.”

Medieval MMA is making a comeback in Brazil

In more light-hearted news, we have yet another promotion going down that medieval path. After Russian videos of men fighting with swords and suits of armor went viral a few years ago, a Brazilian promotion decided to see how their community would enjoy the show.

At the last edition of Fight Music Show, a battle between two medieval warriors was featured between some MMA fights and the promotion shared a clip of it on its official Twitter account. Are you not entertained?

Augusto Sakai tries to stay positive about his UFC release

While warriors go at it with swords in Brazil, there is a former UFC heavyweight prospect still trying to understand what possibly has led to his release from the promotion. Once a rising name within the company, Augusto Sakai was cut from the roster even though he won his last fight, beating Don’Tale Mayes in February.

However, that match also happened to be the last of Sakai’s contract with the UFC and the promotion decided not renew it with the 32-year-old, making him yet another free agent looking for another company. Surprised as Sakai was, he tries to stay positive about the news, saying he may still return to the UFC in the future or even find success under a different roof.

“Yes, and I was sad about it,” Sakai told MMA Junkie in Spanish when asked if he was surprised about not receiving a new deal. “I thought the UFC would renew my contract, and it didn’t happen. However, we have the opportunity to return to the UFC in the future or just fight in other promotions.”

“I still want to continue fighting in MMA,” Sakai said. “I want to fight in mixed martial arts. You never know in the future, maybe I do boxing without the gloves, but right now, right now, I want to continue in MMA.”

Johnny Walker aims at the top

In a different situation than Sakai is rising light heavyweight Johnny Walker, who recently scored his third straight win after going through a rough patch. However, now that the 31-year-old finds himself in a much more convenient situation, he has big plans for the future.

While Walker decides his next move, one thing is for sure in the Brazilian’s mind. He wants to face someone coming off a win, much like himself. In a conversation with Ag Fight, the rising talent even named a couple of options he would consider ideal for the near future. Either being a backup for a title fight or taking on former champions.

“God willing, I’ll fight again this year. I’m waiting to see what happens in the division. I may be the backup for the title fight between Jamahal [Hill] and [Jiri] Prochazka. I may face the winner of Pereira and Blachowicz. I’m waiting out these options, because I want to face someone who’s also coming off a win. I don’t want to face anyone coming off a loss.”

Brazilian lightweight eyes UFC spot after win in Russia

Meanwhile, in Russia, a Brazilian underdog is still trying to make his way into the UFC. Having submitted Ilyas Khamzin at Russian Cagefighting Championship in a match where the local athlete was a 8-1 favorite. Magnus Conrado could not have been any happier about the result.

Now that Conrado is 8-1 in his last nine outings, he dreams of making his way into the UFC by fighting on Contender Series. Though the show’s next season won’t start until the summer, the Brazilian lightweight believes that having a teammate already confirmed for this season may increase his chances of getting a spot, too.

If not, Conrado has no problem waiting until another opportunity comes along, as he told Portal do Vale Tudo.

“We’re trying to get a spot in the big promotions and the UFC is the biggest project of my life. I’ll be rooting for Paulo (Renato Junior), but who knows if I won’t be right there with him in this Contender Series season? It’s only in August. If not now, it will be a different opportunity. I see myself among the top guys in my country, so ending up there is only a matter of time.”

A champion’s welcome

Conrado was not the only one to score a nice win away from home. Paired up Jillian DeCoursey at Invicta FC 53, Rayanne dos Santos became the promotion’s new atomweight champion when she defeated her opponent via unanimous decision on May 3.

Now that she has made her way back to her hometown of Belem, Brazil, dos Santos shared a video of the warm welcome she received at the airport by fans, friends and family who gathered up to see the new champion. It’s one of those feel-good stories that are good to wrap up this week’s Beat on a positive note.

A Brazilian Beat

I’m feeling quite upbeat lately. Summer is just around the corner and the heat reminds me of back home.

For this reason, I’d like to close this Brazil Beat with a band that comes straight out of my hometown of Belem, Brazil. That’s right, the same city Invicta atomweight champion Rayanne dos Santos comes hails from. Fun fact, other champion such as PFL’s Larissa Pacheco and the UFC’s Lyoto Machida also call the northern metropolis home.

This week’s band is an electronic duo who mix up their techno sounds with beats from the Amazon region, Caribbean rhythms and much more. Perfect for both a video game soundtrack, chilling at home or a late night drive. It’s Strobo! Enjoy them at their finest down here.

See you all next week!

Lucas out.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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