Jiu-jitsu legend Ralph Gracie charged with felony assault

Four months after attacking jiu-jitsu coach Flavio Almeida during an event in Anaheim, Calif., longtime MMA fighter and coach Ralph Gracie is being charged with a felony in Orange County.

Jiu-Jitsu Times reported on Saturday that a warrant has been issued for the arrests of Gracie and his student Lincoln Jeferson Pereira, who is also named in the complaint as a co-defendant, for felony assault with intent to produce great bodily injury. The filing suggests a $50,000 bail for each. MMA Fighting confirmed the news with online records.

In addition to the felony charge, there has been an enhancement added for the alleged inflicting of great bodily injury. In California, if convicted, a defendant with that enhancement would get three additional and consecutive years in in state prison after the original sentence.

Gracie was caught on tape landing an elbow to Almeida’s face next to the mats during the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship in Anaheim. Back in December, Anaheim Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Daron Wyatt told MMA Fighting that a report was taken and the investigation was ongoing.

Ralph Gracie did not respond to a request for comment from MMA Fighting.

Almeida’s team Gracie Barra released a statement on social media shortly after the incident, stating that “the attack was completely by surprise, was unprovoked and did not allow Flavio a chance to protect himself” and “meant to hurt Flavio personally, and also to intimidate Gracie Barra.”

Additional reporting by Marc Raimondi.

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