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Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Ralph Gracie under investigation for felony battery

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend might be in hot water with the law.

Ralph Gracie, a longtime MMA fighter, jiu-jitsu practitioner and coach, is under investigation for felony battery stemming from an incident involving fellow coach Flavio Almeida at the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship in Anaheim, Calif., last weekend, according to Anaheim Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Daron Wyatt.

A report was taken and the investigation is ongoing, Wyatt stated. The situation, which took place at Anaheim Convention Center, has not yet been presented to the district attorney for any filing of criminal charges, he said.

A video surfaced this week seemingly showing Gracie land an elbow to Almeida’s face during a discussion while both men were looking in the direction of grapplers on the mats. It’s difficult to tell from the video what transpired before or after the apparent attack.

Ralph Gracie did not respond a request for comments.

Almeida, the brother of top MMA coach Ricardo Almeida, is an executive with Gracie Barra. The organization released a statement this week on social media about the incident.

“As you may know, while coaching at the World No-Gi Championships, Flavio was viciously attacked,” the statement read. “The attack was completely by surprise, was unprovoked and did not allow Flavio a chance to protect himself. It was clear that the attack was meant to hurt Flavio personally, and also to intimidate Gracie Barra. The police are involved and are investigating. Flavio’s doctors have advised him to take time to rest with this family and recover from his injuries under their care, and to resume work when he is able. We very much appreciate your concern. We will address this situation further when the time is right.”

Ricardo Almeida, who coaches the likes of Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez and others, wrote on Instagram that his brother is currently “under medical care.”

“Once in a lifetime something happens that make you question the very foundation of what you believe in.” Almeida wrote. “ ... I feel confused, betrayed and powerless. Thanks to everyone who reached out asking about my brother Flavio, he is recovering under medical care.”

Ralph Gracie, 47, did not respond to a request for comment from MMA Fighting. He has not fought in MMA since Pride Bushido 3 in 2004, but was expected to make a return for ONE Championship next year.

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