Jiu-Jitsu Star Estima Discusses Run-Ins with Nick and Nate Diaz, Kron Gracie

Photo credit: MMA Frenzy
Photo credit: MMA Frenzy
Scott HarrisFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

Nick Diaz was pretty heated in the cage even after fighting UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre Saturday at UFC 158, at least if his behavior toward Braulio Estima is any indication.

Speaking Monday to reporter Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour broadcast, Estima, a third-degree jiu-jitsu black belt and multi-time world champion who was in St-Pierre's corner Saturday night, detailed a brief-but-potentially-explosive altercation with Diaz in the Octagon.

"Basically, you know, after the fight when I saw everyone hugging and everything, I thought as a sportsman I would show my respect," Estima said. "I stepped forward to shake [Diaz's] hand and he pushed me to the side...He pushed me away. What can I do, you know?"

Estima also said Monday that Kron Gracie, another jiu-jitsu standout who was with Team Diaz at UFC 158, made threatening remarks toward Estima Saturday, along with Nick Diaz's brother Nate.

"When I was going to the locker room, there was a little bit of [trouble]," Estima said. "Nate Diaz was beside him...After the press conference, they passed and they stopped and like threatened me. Kron start talking Portuguese to me and told me 'you better watch out.'"

This isn't the first time Diaz and Estima have crossed paths. In 2012, the two were set to face off in a jiu-jitsu competition, only to see Diaz pull a no-show under questionable circumstances. 

Estima and Gracie also have history. Gracie, son of jiu-jitsu legend Rickson Gracie, has engaged in multiple battles with Estima's younger brother, Victor.

Estima has one professional MMA fight under his belt—a win last August over Chris Holland for Titan Fighting Championships. He said Monday he is planning to try his hand at MMA again, but no plans are yet firmly in place.

Estima said repeatedly Monday that he refused to take the bait from Diaz or Gracie and harbors no ill will. That's probably a good thing (at least for UFC brass, broadcast execs and bystanders at the Bell Centre), given the many fighters on hand for both sides.

"Dana said to me 'thanks for not pushing back,'" Estima said.

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