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Ralek Gracie on Metamoris: ‘I created a monster that I couldn’t control’

Metamoris founder Ralek Gracie was candid about his mistakes about running the now-defunct submission grappling promotion company.

The establishment of Metamoris in 2012 offered an entirely refreshing platform for submission grappling. It was deemed as a success when it held marquee pairings like Roger Gracie vs. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, as well as sequels for the Eddie Bravo-Royler Gracie and Renzo Gracie-Kazushi Sakuraba matchups.

Everything came to a halt in 2016, when its founder Ralek Gracie found himself in deep financial trouble and unable to compensate competitors what was promised of them. On Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Gracie was candid about his shortcomings, which he mainly attributed to inexperience.

“There’s no doubt that I let down the jiu-jitsu community and I created a monster that I couldn’t control,” he told Luke Thomas (via MMA Fighting). “And it was a lot of my own inability to grow a company and not have that experience. There was a lot of energy for growth and a lot potential that I just couldn’t manage.”

The promotion company recently hinted at a “Chapter 2”, which Ralek clarified as a reference that they’ve “learned a lot” and “had gone through things they couldn’t anticipate.” But he also intends to carry on with the promotion, as soon as he finds investors to ease the monetary burden.

“The company is in debt,” he said. “The plan to be honest is, there’s kind of a two-phase plan or a double kind of plan if you will or two sides to the plan. The first side of the plan is we need a financial partner and we need a business partner with the experience and the fortitude and the qualities necessary to help us grow a company from $1M to $15-20M.

“Someone who has that experience that could be on the operations side, that could be business development operations, and it could also be business development, but then you also have a business partner who cares, who is passionate about jiu-jitsu.”

And instead of severing his ties and starting fresh, Gracie prefers to stick to the Metamoris brand because of spiritual beliefs.

“I can just walk away from it. But the reason I won’t, the reason at this point feeling into it, it’s chi, it’s karma,” he said. “And so I believe personally there is a certain amount of energy, and whether you call it good or bad, there’s energy, and its passion and people who have been wronged, and there’s energy and ill toward the brand or towards me personally is meaningful, and is something that ultimately if I had the ability to right those wrongs, if I had the ability to step into it and say ‘hey, here’s your money, after five years, here’s your money.’”

“For them to go ‘oh wow, okay, man I’m not necessarily like super excited but I’m no longer holding on to something that I was holding onto in the same way with you.’ And I think that chi and that release and that movement could ultimately be stronger than starting a new brand.”

Ralek’s missteps with Metamoris had caused some tension with his immediate family. His two brothers Rener and Ryron decided to immediately sever business ties when the scandal came to light.