SANTA ANA, Calif. – A professional mixed martial artist and owner of several Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academies has been indicted by the Orange County Grand Jury on a felony assault charge for an unprovoked attack on a five-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion that knocked out the victim’s two front teeth.
Ralph Gracie, 39, of Danville, was indicted on one count of felony assault with an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury for attacking five-time World Champion Flavio Almeida on the sidelines of the 2018 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Championships in Anaheim. Gracie holds a 5th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Judge Roger B. Robbins reduced the felony assault charge on co-defendant, Lincoln Jeferson Pereira, to a misdemeanor assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Pereira pleaded guilty to the reduced misdemeanor charge in July, and was sentenced in August to 80 days time- served.
Almeida was attacked on December 15, 2018 while having a conversation with Gracie while Almeida was coaching one of his athletes from the sidelines of the World Championships. Gracie is accused of elbowing Almeida in the face, rendering him unconscious and knocking him to the ground. Once on the ground, Gracie is accused of kicking Almeida in the face at least one time.
Lincoln Pereira, a student of Gracie’s, joined in the attack, striking Almeida while he was unconscious on the ground. Almeida suffered a concussion and two missing teeth as a result of the attack.
Gracie fled to Brazil after the assault and a warrant was issued for his arrest in April 2019. He failed to appear at several subsequent scheduled court hearings.
“The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will continue to seek justice for victims regardless of the geographical obstacles in our way,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
Deputy District Attorney Matt Plunkett is prosecuting this case.