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MMA legend Renzo Gracie takes plea deal in assault case, avoids jail time

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Renzo Gracie will do no jail time for a 2014 assault arrest.

The MMA legend took a plea deal Thursday, copping to misdemeanor assault with a sentence of 10 to 15 days of community service, confirmed with New York Criminal Court. Gracie's cousin Igor, a Strikeforce and World Series of Fighting veteran, and five other members of the group also got off with just community service.

Gracie and the six men were involved in a fight with bouncers outside popular Manhattan nightclub 1Oak last May 17. Craig Molesphini, the bouncer at the door, accused the group of attacking him and his coworkers and "doing MMA moves" on them, according to the New York Post. Molesphini claimed he broke his arm when Gracie took him down.

Gracie, 47, told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour last year that he never hit Molesphini.

"When I was gonna start beating him up, he said to me, ‘Why are you doing this? I don't know you. Why are you beating me up?'" Gracie said. "You have to understand one thing. In my life, I promise that I'll never hit someone who chickened out. And the guy chickened out. I couldn't hit him."

Gracie said at the time that no other punches were thrown. He spent two days in jail, though he could have been released earlier on bail. Gracie, part of MMA's first family, declined because he didn't want to leave his friends and students there.

"I was in jail for two days, laughing," he said. "Enjoying every moment. I had a great time, to be honest.

"I couldn't leave them. [It] was my fault that they were in there. I was the one who lost the temper. I lost the temper with a reason and why I'm gonna leave the kids in there?"

Gracie, who made his name competing in PRIDE and then later the UFC, has a compliance hearing for set Sept. 30. Part of the sentence was also an order of protection for Molesphini for five years.

Igor Gracie, Leonardo Leite, Rafael Barbosa and Carvalho Da Costa also pled guilty to misdemeanor assault and got 10 to 15 days of community service. Leonardo Da Costa and Gregor (Gracie) Rangel pled out to disorderly conduct. They received one to three days of community service.

Andre Gusmao, Jon Jones' first UFC opponent, was also part of the group and arrested last year, but not charged.