I know that many BJJ practitioners, fight fans and all-around grapplers have gotten their jollies off on calling Renzo Gracie a hero for stopping his would-be atackers. Based on all of the information that we have — both from his live tweets as well as his interview with The MMA Hour podcast — Renzo is anything but the Superman we’d like to believe him to be.
Instead, he baited 2 men into “attacking him” (read: asking for a cigarette and then jostling his pockets…) so that he could proceed to beat the living hell out of one, then stalk down the other and maniacally assault him.
For a cigarette.
Here’s what we know – taken from CagePotato (author’s commentary bracketed and in italics):
3:11 AM: 22nd street and 10th ave right now two guys following me, can’t help but have a big smile upon my face Im talking about a happy one 😉 ))) [Renzo is walking around NYC in the middle of the night and excited about the prospect of being mugged; most would be prepared to defend themselves, or would look for a way to get away – by hailing a cab, for instance – but Renzo LOOKS FORWARD TO IT.]
3:12 AM: Waiting for them… Are they really thinking I’m drunk??? They have to be kidding. Hahahaha [So, in the matter of a minute, we go from the prospect of a mugging to the “victim” waiting for his aggressors. Sounds like the tables have already changed, if they were ever truly reversed in the first place.]
3:13 AM: 25th and 10ave 😉 they are getting closer lol 😉
3:16 AM: I just stop to take a pic, they pretend they are looking at the window, can’t lie… My blood runs in a different speed, man I miss Brazil
JiuJitsu 😉 )) never leave home without it 😉 [More fight preparation. Renzo also shoots a pic below of a deserted walkway. The number one rule of self defense is to avoid the confrontation whenever possible. Instead, Renzo puts himself into a situation to be attacked and relishes in the thrill of the hunt.]
3:18 AM: Please hold there for just a couple minutes 😉 be right back
3:23 AM: They are coming closer, asking for a cigaret 😉 lol can’t help but have a smile in my face. I don’t smoke. Pretend to wobble. They smile [More baiting. In his interview, Renzo was very excited to note that he told the attackers he doesn’t smoke, but one grabbed his pocket and repeatedly said “Give me a cigarette.” From there, violence ensued.]
3:47 AM: My hands hurt… Can’t help but look at him the other one took off running, not much of a friend. Chicken I can still see him, he looks
3:49 AM: Back as he runs, no chance to catch him… Even though I began to try to run after him, I realize How slow I was. Fuck it :-/// [After initially battering one would-be assailant, Renzo seems keen on letting the other get away. From the podcast, Renzo made it seem as though one was the assailant, not both.]
3:53 AM: This one asks me why did I do that, pretending to be stupid, one little kick to the ribs makes him whine and apologize, as I’m writing this. [Either the assailant is actually feigning ignorance or he meant only to ask for a cigarette; either way, the kick to the ribs is unnecessary. Anything from this point on puts Renzo into a state of unnecessary agression. At any point in time, he can walk away. It is only by his choosing that he continues.]
3:55 AM: I ask him if he was planing to rob me, he says no. All he wanted was a cigarette, lol I can’t help but have a big smile upon my face, and ..
3:57 AM: The certainty that if it was an ordinary man he would be sad about his stolen goods. Fucking cunt cries like a bitch when the tide turns… [We don’t know what “an ordinary man” would have done, becuase it looks as though they two would-be assailants only meant only to borrow goods… We begin to see Renzo’s bully nature rise to the surface more than even in the way he waited for the two men to approach him.]
3:58 AM: I can’t help but take a pic as his nose bleeds and he wines and asks why did I do that… Like he doesn’t know the reason… [Looking for the mob’s approval, as any bully would.]
3:59 AM: My fucking hands hurt, hurt like hell…
4:06 AM: Drove around two blocks… The other fellow disappear, I’m heading home… Angry for not finding the second one. Guess no sleeping tonight [Renzo looks to exact vengeance for a crime uncommitted by the second person, hunting him down. At the end of this post, the audience is led to believe that Renzo’s blood hunt is over…]
4:26 AM: I knew it 😉 yessss
4:59 AM: There is basic things like you don’t come back to where the problem was.. You just don’t, I knew he would, just going around the block would
5:01 AM: Be enough… Dumb f%#^ I just gave him the old style Raccoon, it has been a while since the last time I did.. Choke him out 3 times… [What could anyone possibly say to show that Renzo was acting in self-defense in this situation? Nothing. Because he’s stalked and hunted his prey, then commited a violence in him, even going so far as to uses his self-defense and martial arts techniques to make one man’s life a living hell. He mentions that the man circled back to “the scene of the crime” and is an idiot for doing so. Why wouldn’t he want to know what became of his friend, though? If I were being attacked and ran away, only to know that my friend got his ass handed to him, it’s only right that I make sure he is OK. To Renzo, though, this act of loyalty is like a nail in the coffin.]
5:03 AM: And before he woke up I did hit each eye socket at least twice, tomorrow he will wake up like a raccoon, and every time he woke up I was…
5:06 AM: Whispering at his ears.. That’s what death feels like it.. Don’t do that again. My fucking hand hurts, a lot [Renzo opts to whisper into this man’s ear while he chokes him out repeatedly, then blackens his eyes with punches. This is not heroism. This is sadism. It goes even beyond that of a vigilante because no act of violence was commited against him. This is nothing more than a crazed thirst for blood.]
5:08 AM: Next time I will use only the elbows, damn I miss that feeling, sometimes I wonder if the easy life has been making me
5:09 AM: Soft.. All those years in Brazil, without knowing if I would make it home had to count for something, I can’t lie I could have jump in a cab [And there it is. “damn I miss that feeling.” and “I can’t lie I could have jump in a cab] — both motive and understanding that it could have been avoided.]
5:11 AM: But I could not help, I could spot them from a mile away, walking was my option, thank you mayor Giuliani, nobody carries a gun in our…
5:14 AM: Beautiful state, my lucky day, their bad day… My hand hurts and @FrankieEdgar is here at 9:30am for some training, shoot damn little guy
5:16 AM: Could not take a second pic guys sorry, believe I try, as I reach for my iPhone he almost took off fast mofo
How can we pretend that Renzo Gracie is anything other than an upstart; a bully; a punk? He was the aggressor, the assailant, the stalker. Like a dog worrying a bone, he continued to batter those who he thought were out to harm him because of a calloused, uncompromising thirst for blood. His tweets read maniacally, not heroically.
I understand that people have a deep-rooted love for Renzo. I will not, however, support any more of his endeavors. I will not buy the shirt, wear the rash guard, etc. My love for the sport of jiu jitsu makes it so that I cannot support anyone who would degrade it with such inhumane acts of violence.