At 45, Renzo Gracie is a legend. He started fighting before the UFC existed, competed in the UFC, Pride, IFL, RINGS, MARS, and the WCC, holds wins over four former UFC world champions, and has trained multiple UFC champions, including Matt Serra and GSP.
Among numerous successful business ventures, Renzo runs the most successful martial arts school in America, and has affiliated academies across the USA, and in Singapore, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Israel.
And he never stops smiling.
His most recent effort was the The World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, held in Long Beach, California on the May 12.
“I believe this inaugural event will be the start of something that will quickly blossom into one of the hottest sports fairs on the planet," said Renzo before the show. "The World Jiu-Jitsu Expo won’t just draw the sport’s big names from the past and present, it’ll showcase the history, the myths and milestones that brought Jiu-Jitsu to become the phenomenon it is today."
When Nick Diaz no showed a planned grappling superfight with world champion Braulio Estima, there were accusations and blame between the event coordinator, the Gracie camp, and Estima. No one blamed Renzo. However, Renzo recently appeared on The Mauro Ranallo Show, and took responsibility.
“I have to be honest, if there’s someone to blame it’s me," said Renzo. "Even though it was my expo, I had one guy (“Junior”) working on it and he was good at organizing it and putting it together. The only thing he’s not good at is dealing with fighters.
"Junior called Ceasar Gracie’s room the night previously at midnight and said Braulio Estima would be 10 pounds overweight. You have to understand Nick Diaz was already giving up too much fighting that caliber of fighter in BJJ. For Nick to take the match, it shows the kind of guts he has.
"It ended up turning out the way that it did because the guy dealing with the fighters is an amateur, and he didn’t understand the emotions the athletes go through.”
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