This past Saturday night's Metamoris 3 had it all; action, technique, history, rivalry and challenging competition. It had a little something extra, though, and unfortunately, it was not the most flattering moment for the Gracie family.
In the rematch that was 11 years in the making between Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie, fans were treated to one of the most spectacular jiu-jitsu matches ever. The headliner on a six match card, it fully delivered something truly amazing to the delight of fans, both casual and hardcore.
In the end, as the seconds ticked away and the final buzzer was heard, it was evident to anyone with a pair of eyeballs and most of their brain cylinders firing, that Bravo got the better of Gracie. The referee raised the arms of both men, denoting a draw, and a very emotional outpouring from Eddie flowed forth, with praise for the Gracie family, and at one point, declaring that all BJJ practitioners, himself included, were Gracies. The "We are all one" message never sounded so good, no matter what words were used.
Following the event, the familial tone was quickly replaced with a darker, more menacing one. Bravo, highly emotional, an exhausted bundle of nerves, emptied the contents of his stomach backstage. In the midst of this very private moment, he was accused of disrespecting the Gracie family by none other than UFC legend, Royce Gracie. Needless to say, it took Bravo by surprise, and at the time of this writing, Royce has gone a step further, challenging Eddie to an MMA fight.
In a recent interview with Bloody Elbow, Bravo discussed the verbal altercation with Royce, the odd demands made about the gi pants that went so far as to involve legal counsel, where he thinks he'll compete next and whether he received payment in full from Metamoris. Here's what he had to say:
Break In Action
I wanted to get him to a position called top stoner control so I could set up the vaporizer. I finally got it, but we were kind of out of bounds, so the ref stood us up. When we separated, Royler had no idea what he was in. He'd probably never been in that position in his whole life. He had no idea what it was, and probably thought I didn't know what it was either. Maybe he thought it was just some mad scramble that wasn't even a real position, so he refused to let me put him back in it when the ref was trying to restart us. I was trying to get him back in it, but he just wouldn't do it. I kept trying to show him, but he wouldn't let me.
I finally got frustrated and walked away. I said, ‘What are we gonna do here? I'm not standing up.' Then Ralek Gracie starts telling the ref, ‘Start them standing up.' I didn't think I was hearing it right, so I asked the ref what was up. He said, ‘Ralek wants me to stand you guys up.' I said, ‘What? Fuck that shit', and the crowd was yelling ‘Replay! Replay!' When they finally showed the replay on the big screen, everybody shut the fuck up and watched it from that perfect angle. No one even said anything. Royler just got on the ground and gave me the position.
World's Most Complicated Gi Pants
*Some of this audio was a little staticy, but I managed to clean it up and have uploaded the gi pant discussion so you guys can hear straight from Eddie about this whole situation*
I always wear gi pants when I train. It helps with my game. It's harder to pull your leg out when it's locked down with gi pants. There was a whole big scandal over the pants. I asked to wear pants specifically, because in the rules it says all no-gi competitors must wear a rash guard and board shorts.
Abu Dhabi, which is the tournament that I beat him in the first time, their rules say you can wear whatever you want. So I asked Ralek if they cared if I wore gi pants and a rash guard. Royler said yes, as long as I promised not to change my mind. I was like, ‘Why would I have to promise not to change my mind?' I should be able to wear whatever I want. I don't care what he's wearing, and he doesn't have to get that cleared with me.
So now I gotta make promises and agreements that I won't change my mind, but I said [in very affected voice], ‘Okay...I promise.' Thing is, with the pants, Royler wanted to be able to grab onto my pants. So then they changed it to, ‘You can wear the pants as long as Royler can grab your pants and you don't change your mind. He can grab them anywhere he wants.'
It was ridiculous. He shouldn't have been able to grab and I should have been able to wear whatever I wanted. So with this weird logic and the need to be able to grab onto my pants, I decided, you know what, I'm going to wear shorts or tights. They were like, ‘No, you promised. You can't change your mind. You promised to wear pants.' I said, ‘I'm gonna wear tights. What's the big deal?'
I posted up a picture of me in tights, and Royler got upset and actually got his lawyer involved. Then his lawyer starts threatening legal action. At that point, I was thinking if he's getting his lawyer involved, fuck it, I'll wear the pants. Let's just do this shit.
The pants helped me in the beginning, but in the end, they saved his ass, because he grabbed them, keeping me from creating more pressure on that leg lock. He was holding my pants and I couldn't free my right leg which would have added more power to the vaporizer.
Was It All Worth It?
Absolutely worth all the trouble. It's a beautiful thing to have Royce Gracie so mad at me he wants to beat me up? Hell yeah! That's a cool thing. It's just so amazing and surreal. The Number 1 UFC legend of all time, of all the legends, this guy's at the top, and he's mad at me. How did this happen? [Laughs heartily]
Conversation On The Mat
We were talking the whole time. It would have been crazy if we could have been mic'd somehow. In our first match, he got the underhook on me fairly easily, but this time, it was a lot harder and took him awhile. I told him, ‘It's a lot harder to get that underhook isn't it? It's not easy like the first time [laughs]' It was just fun stuff like that. It was out of respect. I would never talk like that to a blue belt or somebody like that because that would be douchey, but when you go against a legend, it's comical.
At the end, his knee kept popping, and I was asking him if he wanted out. I told him if he wanted out, he didn't have to do this. I didn't want to spoil his knee, but he kept saying that he was alright. It would pop again and I would go, ‘Did you hear that?' He would just go, ‘It's okay.' I just kept checking in to make sure he was alright. Once he convinced me that he was, I really went for it and started twisting and cranking on it.
Nobody ever survives the vaporizer, but he wouldn't tap. He has incredible flexibility and a ton of heart. My hat is off to him and I have so much respect for him. I wouldn't be shocked if he was on crutches though, because his knee popped several times.
The Silence From Metamoris
If that had been a UFC match, Dana White probably would have gave me a call for a job well done. Maybe I would have even gotten dinner. Royce was really mad at me, though, so I figure that Ralek got mad, too.
I really tried to be gracious. I've always tried to show them respect and give them credit for their accomplishments in jiu-jitsu. In my first book, Jiu-Jitsu Unleashed, I credited them by name. Paragraph after paragraph, I thanked them individually.
For him to come at me, as I'm throwing up, and say all this stuff...saying that Royler dominated me so much that I threw up, I don't even know what to say. He accused me of talking shit on his family. Someone must have lied to him, though.
Do you think maybe Royce cooked up a reason to be mad at you since you bested Royler again?
Yeah, that's his brother. When I was growing up, if anybody messed with my brother, they messed with me. He was four years older than me and could kick my ass, but you just don't mess with family. I would throw myself on whoever he was fighting and get my ass kicked just in support of him. It's brotherly instinct. In Royce's defense, I feel like he was just defending his family's honor. Those are just his instincts, his DNA.
They paid me well for this event. I got half the money already, and I'm sure I'll get the other half in a week or two. I'm 100% sure there would never be an issue getting paid the rest of my purse. I am going to get my money, and not for one second do I think I'm not.
What I do from this point on is to secure the best future for my family. I want what's coming to me, so whatever the best deal is, whether it's Metamoris or in my own show, streaming it myself. I will compete wherever the best deal is to be made. It's all about helping my family secure the best life possible. I'm going after what I can get.
I'm already starting my own promotion called Eddie Bravo Invitational. It's going to be on Latin TV all across Latin America. June 1 is the first show at the Florentine Garden in Hollywood. We're going to have two 16 man submission only tournaments, one at 145 with same day weigh-in and one at 170 with same day weigh-in.
It's crazy and surreal. I really did not expect this. It's hard to put into words what it feels like, but I'm going to do my best to maintain that positive energy and focus it towards leaving a legacy that my son can benefit from and be proud of.
If you think you would like to take part of Eddie's June 1st BJJ Invitational, contact MasterVic@EddieBravoInvitational.com
You can follow Eddie via his Twitter account, @EddieBravo