The long-awaited rematch between Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo took place at Metamoris 3 on Saturday in Los Angeles, and -- perhaps fittingly -- it ended in a draw. The event piqued the interest of grappling aficionados -- as well as plenty of MMA fans -- from all over the globe a decade after Bravo scored a victory over Gracie in Abu Dhabi back in 2003.
The draw wasn’t where things ended, though. Royce Gracie -- Royler’s brother, and the star of the early UFCs -- confronted Bravo backstage at the Pauley Pavilion about some old respect issues. The 10th Planet jiu-jitsu practitioner Bravo appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour to talk about the incident.
"[Royler and I] went 20 hard minutes, I was so emotional, my mom is there, I’m crying, and it was just crazy, and after it was all done I had to throw up," Bravo said. "It was like I had an Ayahuasca trip or something. So I’m throwing up on the side of the tent, and Jean-Jacques Machado is there and my film crew -- I have a documentary film crew following me around, and they were all there filming me throw-up -- and I hear this voice behind me. ‘It’s good that you said those things about my family.’ I’m like, who is this? I turn around, and it was Royce Gracie. He goes, ‘you say what you say, because you used to talk sh-- about my family.’ And I’m like, dude I never talked sh-- on your family, who is telling you these lies?"
Bravo says that he explained to Royce that he had always been very respectful of the Gracies, and he was emphasizing it with hand gestures.
"I’m pointing, I have my finger up, and I said, ‘I thank you, I thank Royler, I thank his father [Helio],’ and [Royce] thought that was disrespectful because I was pointing at him. He said, ‘don’t you point your finger at me, don’t you disrespect me,’ and he gets in my face like he wants to fight me. And [my teacher] Jean-Jacques Machado separates us. And I’m like, man, Royce Gracie wants to kick my ass -- how cool is that? That’s the coolest sh-- ever."
Bravo said that since then he’s seen the 47-year-old Royce on the Underground saying he wanted to fight him in a mixed martial arts fight, rather than a non-striking jiu-jitsu setting. Though a jiu-jitsu match with the UFC Hall of Famer speaks to him, Bravo said he had no interest in an MMA bout.
The post-Metamoris flare-up between Royce and Bravo goes back a long time, to what Bravo says are misconceptions that Royce harbors about attitudes toward jiu-jitsu. Bravo took the time to put some context into the situation on the show.
"I’ve always been super-respectful of the Gracies," he said. "As a matter of fact, in my first book, Jiu-Jitsu Unleashed, which came out in 2005, in the beginning I write about each Gracie. Individually. Royce Gracie, Helio Gracie, Royler Gracie. I write about them and give them the ultimate tribute and the respect, and how they affected my life personally. I wanted to right out of the box squash all these misconceptions about me, that I’m against jiu-jitsu, that I’m a jiu-jitsu traitor and all this sh--…and how I disrespected the Gi and dropped the Gi. I dropped the Gi for jiu-jitsu, to make jiu-jitsu look better for the UFC. The UFC got me into jiu-jitsu, jiu-jitsu didn’t get me into the UFC."
Bravo said he would have to be a fool to dismiss the Gracies as anything other than pioneers in the fight world.
"I constantly make it clear," he said. "I mean, I’m in the jiu-jitsu business. I’d have to be a complete retard to disrespect the Gracies and not acknowledge and respect what they’ve done in the world of martial arts. I would have zero followers if I started talking sh-- on the Gracies."
As for whether or not Royce and Bravo would meet at a future Metamoris, Bravo didn’t think so. Not because he wouldn’t, but because he’s not sure he’ll ever compete for the jiu-jitsu promotion again.
"I don’t think Metamoris would ever want me back, to tell you the truth," he said. "I haven’t heard from [Metamoris founder] Ralek Gracie at all. He hasn’t texted me or called me or just to thank me. That’s what you kind of feel like, when somebody puts on a great show in the UFC like [Stephan] Bonnar or [Forrest] Griffin, Dana White is texted them that night thanking them. I haven’t heard from Ralek at all. I think he might be mad at me, I don’t know.
"I just blew his show up, I blew it out of the water. I mean, his best [Metamoris] performance was 9,000 pay-per-views, which is great for a jiu-jitsu event. This one had to be, with of all Joe Rogan’s promotion because I was involved, he had to have hit 20,000 pay-per-views at least, maybe 30,000. That’s $400,000-$500,000, and I haven’t heard from the guy. He’s got to be mad at me. I don’t think that Metamoris will ever have me back."
Bravo said that he would be launching his own jiu-jitsu promotion, a 16-main tournament he called the Eddie Bravo Invitational, which kicks off on June 1. He said the tournament would cater to Latin America and air in those countries, as well as in America on the Latin channels.
As to whether he’d compete on one of his own cards, he said he wasn’t yet sure.
"Right now I don’t want to think about anything," he said. "I will compete again, but I don’t want to think about anything for a while and relax. Royce Gracie’s calling and all that sh--, I think it’s a beautiful thing man, that Royce Gracie’s calling me out. And I would not do an MMA fight with him, so he can get that out of his head. But a jiu-jitsu match? Sh--, Royler’s better than Royce, so we’ll see maybe later if he wants to do some jiu-jitsu."