Ex-MMA fighter Ralph Gracie — a member of the legendary Gracie jiu-jitsu family — has been sentenced to 6 months in jail Friday for smashing another fighter in the face at a 2018 event.
49-year-old Gracie — son of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster Robson Gracie — landed a cheap shot elbow strike on 5-time world champ Flavio Almeida at the 2018 IBJJF World No-Gi Championships in Anaheim during a disagreement in the crowd.
Almeida was knocked unconscious in the Dec. 2018 attack — but Gracie continued to strike, kicking him in the head, according to prosecutors.
Almeida reportedly suffered serious injuries in the attack — including seizures and broken teeth.
Gracie struck a deal with prosecutors in which he agreed to plead guilty to felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. The charge included an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.
In exchange, Gracie was sentenced to 6 months in jail.
Gracie’s attorney acknowledged the attack in a 2019 statement — saying, “It is undisputed that my client, without lawful excuse or justification, struck the victim, knocking him to the ground and causing him injury.”
“My client fully acknowledges that he should never have struck Mr. Almeida and he accepts full responsibility for doing so.”
The attorney claimed Gracie felt “tremendous remorse” for attacking Almeida, claiming they were longtime friends before the incident.
Gracie was 6-1 in his pro MMA career — his last fight was a loss to Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 3 in 2004.
He’s since become a famous BJJ instructor — working with legends like BJ Penn.