Picking up a fight in the street is usually not a very good idea, but getting into a fight with someone who speaks Portuguese and has serious “cauliflowers” on his ears is bordering on a Darwin Award nomination. Even so, there are those who will try, as happened a few days ago in the New York subway.
There, an unknown African-American attacked two Brazilians to stop speaking Portuguese and speak English. Unfortunately, he had no idea that both men hold black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and one of them is even a well-known fighter and trainer, Renzo Gracie, who doesn’t go far for a blow on the street, and he won’t let something happen.
The argument escalated into a fight, in which an unknown man surprised Gracie, took him by the tie and violently threw him to the ground, which must have been quite humiliating for the seasoned Brazilian. He has a number of MMA fights behind him and although he is already 55, he is still training. So once he was on the ground, he immediately took the initiative, pinning the aggressor to the ground and applying a chokehold.
Renzo himself subsequently commented on the incident and said that the attacker thought he and his friend were slandering him in Portuguese and wanted them to speak English. Gracie laughed at that and the whole situation degenerated into a brawl, where he got the unknown brawler in an arm-triangle choke and he started begging him to get off him, saying he couldn’t breathe. Before doing so, Gracie forced his sock to apologize, finally telling him: “See, you’re a good boy. Why are you doing this? Why are you so rude?’
It must be said that Renzo himself is no lamb and in the Gracie family, which brought Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the world, he is considered the biggest brawler and provocateur. He already behaved quite unsportsmanlike in MMA matches, for example when he repeatedly kicked the judoka Ben Spijker, whom he previously choked into unconsciousness and then stepped on his neck. Also, spitting on Shungo Oyama during a match at the PRIDE 21 tournament was definitely not a gentlemanly gesture.
However, the Brazilian fighter and now coach does not avoid conflicts on the street either. A few years ago, he and his buddies got into a fight in one of the New York nightclubs and broke the arm of a local bouncer there, for which he was sentenced to community service. The question arises as to how much Gracie was in the right this time and how much he unnecessarily escalated the whole situation.