Brazilian jiu-jitsu icon and one-time UFC welterweight Renzo Gracie was back in front of the camera phones this week after an argument on a New York City subway platform turned physical. It appears Gracie was having a conversation with a friend in Portuguese when a passerby told them both to “speak English.”
Instagram account “Choke Lab” provides context:
“Based off of information we retrieved from an audio recording on WhatsApp, Gracie stated that the aggressor was a black/dark skinned man who was yelling at him to ‘speak English here.’ In the audio recording Gracie stated that the young man accused him of speaking bad about him in Portuguese. Gracie responded saying that his accusation was ridiculous and racist. A fight ensued. According to Gracie the man begged to be let go from a Kata Gatame saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’ While controlling him Gracie made the assailant apologize and released him saying ‘You see, you’re a nice guy. Why are you doing this? why are you so impolite?’”
A forced apology certainly beats Raccoon Eyes.
Gracie is no stranger to “Big Apple” brawls, having previously sent a bouncer to the hospital after this near-riot back in 2014. The Brazilian later chalked it up to a “misunderstanding” when Johnny Law tagged him with misdemeanor assault. The 55 year-old Gracie owns and operates multiple jiu-jitsu schools across the Tri-State area (and beyond).