The news that Marcus Aurelio is replacing an injured Gleison Tibau against Hermes Franca at UFC 90 is being reported, but not analyzed.
It strikes me as curious that first one, then a second American Top Team Fighter has signed to fight Franca, a former ATT fighter himself.
Is there a feud brewing? This rumor was out there a couple years ago, from a source I don't trust much. Is there anything to it?
Here's the story, according to a source of mine... Kurt Pellegrino trained at Franca's ATT Jupiter school for his fight against Kazuki Okubo, which took place on the Euphoria: 'USA vs. Japan' card on November 5th, 2005. Pellegrino won the fight by KO, and when he got back to Florida, Franca then awarded Pellegrino his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Ricardo Liborio, the leader of ATT, told Franca that all ATT black belts are only given by Liborio to qualified BJJ brown belts. He supposedly went on to say that Pellegrino was not qualified to be an ATT black belt and that he should demote Pellegrino back to brown belt. This supposedly did not sit well with Franca.
Franca and three other members of ATT then took a photo in front of the main ATT building in Coconut Creek, Florida, with an ATT flag held upside down and a middle finger salute. They sent the picture to Liborio, who was supposedly furious and then took away the ATT name from Franca's school.