MMA’s first family made headlines for all the wrong reasons Monday morning after Renzo Gracie and several others allegedly assaulted a bouncer at a Manhattan nightclub, according to the New York Post.
“Everything is a misunderstanding,” Gracie said in a text message sent to MMA Fighting. “We always had a great relationship with that amazing club and all their employees. Soon everything will be clear.”
The 47-year-old Gracie, his cousins Igor and Gregor Gracie, former UFC fighter Andre Gusmao and three others were all arrested at 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning after allegedly assaulting Craig Molesphini, a 1 OAK bouncer, in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan.
Each alleged assailant was charged with gang assault. According to Fox Sports, Renzo and Igor Gracie are facing a second-degree charge.
The victim didn’t suffer any significant injuries, outside of a fractured right arm along with various cuts and bruises. Both Renzo and Igor were released from jail on $10,000 bail Tuesday morning. As trained combatants, fighters are generally expected to turn the other cheek more so than the average person.
It’s usually not a fair fight to see one trained MMA fighter get into a street brawl. One can only imagine what could happen if several trained fighters jump into the fray all at once. If the charges prove to be true, Molesphini is fortunate to walk away without any significant injuries.
“People who train this kind of stuff have no business getting into street fights—it’s completely unfair,” said an angry law-enforcement source, per the New York Post. “These guys really should have known better.”
Since losing to Matt Hughes at UFC 112, Renzo has settled into his post-fighting career as a coach and mentor to several world-class fighters, including Georges St-Pierre, Chris Weidman and Frankie Edgar.
Fox Sports’ Marc Raimondi is reporting that Renzo and Igor Gracie could be facing a 15-year prison sentence.
First degree gang assault in New York can carry a potential state prison sentence of up to 25 years. Second degree is a potential 15 years.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) May 20, 2014
The investigation is still pending.
Be sure to stay tuned into Bleacher Report as we continue to provide updates on this developing story.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.