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Cesar Gracie Explains Why Nick Diaz No-Showed His World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Superfight

(Nick actually shattered his personal record for running away from a scheduled event by a full 3.5 minutes, but nobody ever wants to focus on the man’s accomplishments, I guess.)

If Nick Diaz was required to explain his actions, Braulio Estima would be receiving a personalized car-vlog complete with middle fingers and suggestions that random motorists have sex with their own mothers. Cesar Gracie understands this better than anybody, which is why he took the time to write out a respectful account of all the events that led to Nick’s disappearance from his scheduled superfight at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo last weekend.

Short version: Although Gracie didn’t appreciate his fighter’s no-show (“his lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable”), Nick’s decision to leave was based on multiple instances of shadiness involving a WJJE organizer named “Junior” and Estima himself. Read on for Cesar Gracie’s letter in its entirety, courtesy of

My decision to write an account of what happened this weekend is not to answer to the detractors of myself or my team, as no explanation is owed them. It is instead based on my acknowledgement and respect to our fans and supporters. I never thought I would be answering for something that happened at a grappling tournament, however with the worldwide popularity of the sport and my team increasing, I understand that our supporters need answers.

Below is a compilation of events in chronological order. I included the behind the scenes problems we had to let you, our supporters, know how things deteriorated.


In the month of February I was contacted by a Brazilian named Junior asking me if I wanted to participate in an ExpoJiu-jitsu tournament. The goal was to put one of our team’s stars in the event to attract sponsors and ensure it was successful. The event was not that far away and they desperately needed exposure. Junior stated that he was working with my uncle Rilion and my cousin Renzo on this project and they were in fact partners. Rilion and Renzo are 2 people that I greatly admire and respect and I was more than happy to partner up with them.

I discussed the idea with Nick Diaz and he readily agreed to enter in the black belt gi division. He did not seek any reimbursement. Junior thought it better for Nick to do a super fight as he thought this would be more of a spectacle and bring in more attention. Nick was not as enthusiastic but agreed on the condition that whoever was picked to go against him was not an mma fighter. He knew even a mediocre mma fighter would try to use a match and/or victory over him to further their career in mma. Nick believes a reputation as a fighter should only be earned in a ring or cage.I relayed this to Junior and he agreed to arrange for a strict jiu-jitsu competitor.

In March I received the disturbing news from Rilion that Junior had broken his agreement with him. Rilion stated to me that Junior was registering all World Jiu-jitsu Expo names under his name alone and was no longer taking his phone calls. When contacted by me, Junior stated that he would no longer honor his financial obligations to Rilion because “Rilion was doing nothing and treats me like one of his clerks”.
He then went on a tirade about Rilion which I interrupted and reminded him that Rilion was my family member and I would not listen to someone speaking negatively about him.

This rift left me in a dilemma. My instinct was to sever ties immediately. Rilion was my original jiu-jitsu instructor and his reputation as an honest person was impeccable. On the other hand we had already committed Diaz and Caio Terra. Our removal would destroy an event Renzo provided all of the funding for.

I consulted with Rilion who advised me to move forward with the event. He was the one that had brought Renzo into this project and convinced Renzo to fund it. He also still believed in the idea of an American tournament that paid the best BJJ guys on the planet to showcase their skills. We agreed to move forward without him since at this stage Junior had entrenched himself and his removal was impossible. Lastly Rilion warned me that Junior was not to be trusted and would undoubtedly try to cheat me and Renzo.

In early April I got the call from Junior asking what I thought of a Braulio Estima vs Nick Diaz matchup. I had heard of Braulio and knew he was a formidable jiu-jitsu practitioner. I was under the impression that Braulio competed in the close to 200lbs weight category.
When I asked Junior he assured me that Braulio could weigh in as little as 175 lbs right before the match.

I presented his information to Nick who accepted the matchup and seemed happy to go against the top BJJ player in the world at that weight. Nick started training for the match and I brought up several BJJ black belts to compliment his training.

Looking through some of Estima’s youtube videos, it was soon discovered that he had in fact been planning on entering upon a career in mma. We wondered if the match with Diaz was a way to create a buzz around him and get him signed with a prominent organization.

I called Junior who assured me Estima would not be fighting in mma and that he had spoken with him and been assured he had given up on the idea of ever fighting. Junior reiterated, “Cesar I spoke with Braulio, the guy is in his 30?s, he has a family and doesn’t want to live that type of life at this stage in his life…etc”

I repeated this info to Nick. A week or so later it was all over the Internet that Braulio had joined the “Blackzillians” and was training for an mma fight. We had been lied to. Furthermore it was evident that Nick’s sole condition that he not go against a wanna be mma guy was violated and this was in fact an attempt by Braulio to ignite an mma career.Nick was to have been accurately portrayed as a fighter returning to his BJJ roots. He had even agreed to give his entire purse to charity; St Jude’s Children’s Hospital for kids with cancer. If you know the story of Ralph Gracie’s son you would understand why this charity was chosen. Nick’s name having been added to this event had saved it but now it was clear he was to be the patsy, not respected but used.

Despite all of this Nick was still going to compete. He brought up Kron Gracie and prepared himself. Around this time I was informed by Junior that Braulio wanted to weigh in the day before and not right before the match as is the custom in IBJJ competitions and Abu Dhabi. At the time Nick was about 186lbs so I consented to both guys weighing in at 180lbs the night before.

Nick boarded a plane on Friday for Long Beach having cut 6 pounds for the weigh in that night. On his way there I got a call from Junior telling me Braulio would not be making weight! ”Cesar Braulio is complaining about the weight cut. Can we have him weigh in tomorrow? He can’t make the weight tonight how about 185 in the morning?”

Nick arrives in Long Beach to the news that there will be no weigh ins that night. As a professional with over 30 fights this was the final straw. The disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event.

At 3:20 in the morning I received a text from Junior that Braulio would in fact make the 180lbs weight class at 10:00AM. With no other option available I said fine I’ll check with Nick in the morning. At 10:00AM Braulio did weigh in at 180lbs but by that time Nick had already left.


As a Brazilian I love Brazil but not all things Brazilian. In the last decade I have witnessed Brazilian cronies running the IBJJF and making it impossible for Americans to get a fair shake when competing against their Brazilian countrymen. These cronies have instituted rules to where if you miss weight by even half a pound you are disqualified and not refunded your entry fee. They gladly keep your money and treat you like crap in your country because they can. One of these cronies (Junior) decided to bend all the rules for Braulio Estima and treat Nick Diaz like crap. Sorry that didn’t work out here.

As for Braulio I still respect him as a great BJJ artist. As far as calling Nick out for a mma fight, he knows that is impossible because Nick is signed with the UFC and in mma you have to make weight when they want you to. Not when you want to. If Braulio ever finds success in mma then he can mention Nick’s name for a fight. Right now he should respect the man.

Nick is not without fault by any means. His lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable. This will be addressed privately.

Renzo and I have spoken and we are committed to continuing with this otherwise awesome event….without the services of Junior.

It should be noted that Nick paid to St Jude’s Children’s Hospitable the sum of what would have been his entire purse.

Thank you,
You have my apologies and my respect
Cesar Gracie

Cagepotato Comments

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BaghdadBob- May 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm
and by the way, for the vast majority of bjj competitions, you weigh-in on the morning of your fight(s). Some events permit, but do not require, that you weigh-in the night before. Even then, the main weigh-ins happen on the morning of the fight.
BaghdadBob- May 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm
Lies. So many goddamned lies.
linzhancb- May 16, 2012 at 7:24 am …….
Capital- May 16, 2012 at 2:58 am
"It should be noted that Nick paid to St Jude’s Children’s Hospitable the sum of what would have been his entire purse"
Respect to Nick!
dfgfdhfg- May 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

( )
Believe you will love it.
credit card and f ree s hipping.
I bought two pairs. Cheap, good quality, you can
go and ship with there
Fried Taco- May 15, 2012 at 11:56 am
Braulio's response:
bladdiator- May 15, 2012 at 11:34 am
How many fans in the mma world have even heard of Braulio Estima until now? Largely he's known in Brazil, and by martial artist practitioners who train and compete in bjj in this country. It was Nick Diaz who was really needed to bring attention and interest to this event, and that's just what he did. Estima should be thanking

Would I have liked to see the match go down...sure...but I can understand why he would get pissed at being manipulated the way Cesar Gracie said he was. Diaz has ranted many times on dirty dealings in the MMA bizness, but ironically he's just as much a part of it as all the others. He's intertwined and has no choice but to play the game as best he knows how. So far I'd say it's working out pretty good for him. "Professional Sports" is a dirty business...especially the fight game. Always has been, always will what's the big riddle? The whole "he's a professional" argument is a weak one at best like Dana White has always been a "professional" in his business dealings. How many people do you think he's left hanging, undercut, and worked over to get what he wants? Is that "professional". Ethical? or just "good business"? Why should Diaz, or anyone else in the biz be held to a different standard. It all makes for good theater I enjoy and get it on. And the fact still remains...Whenever Nick Diaz does enter the arena, it's always a great show, and the fans get their money's worth. Too bad some folks got shafted who paid to see diaz and Estima go...they probably felt the same way I did when I shelled out 40 clams all those years ago to watch Michael Spinks get KTFO by Tyson in 60 seconds...tuff titties fight's all part of the show ;~)))
El Guapo- May 15, 2012 at 10:56 am
If Nick did in fact donate that money to St. Jude's(how the hell would I know, nawmsayin)... Respect.
He had no obligation to do so and still did. Plenty of squeaky clean, goodie-two-shoe types wouldn't have done the same.
El Guapo- May 15, 2012 at 10:52 am
Nick "Honey Badger" Diaz
He just don't give a fuck!
Mofo- May 15, 2012 at 10:18 am
Wow none of that comes close to a reason to walk. Who gives a flying fuck if someone wants to move into MMA? There's nothing inappropriate about that. Just beat him, Nick, and then it's a non-issue. So it's clear he expected to lose from the beginning, in which case, just don't sign the fight contract in the first place you monkey.
ArmFarmer- May 15, 2012 at 10:02 am
It must suck being responsible for maintaining Nick Diaz's public image. Does he do this for free?
Deadpanda- May 15, 2012 at 9:12 am
That's a lot of words for, "We communicate & behave like a 1st grade brat with the only kick ball in class."

Get Nick some fucking help. Medical. PhD. Bel View shit.
Kimbos Bread- May 15, 2012 at 7:35 am
I call bullshit. Cesar is the same guy who said GSP was unprofessional and shady. Cesar is dirty dirty guy. I'm sure there are some facts to what Cesar is saying but at the end of the day it was Diaz who made everyone believe there would be a superfight and HE was the one who bailed (and this was not his first time).

tquinn2- May 15, 2012 at 7:28 am
amsterdamheavy- May 15, 2012 at 6:54 am
Haters gonna hate. If everything Cesar says is true, I would have walked the fuck outta there too.
paskhl- May 15, 2012 at 8:03 am
How do you know're a medium...
amsterdamheavy- May 15, 2012 at 9:14 am
How do I know "what", you fuckin idiot? Cesar doesnt have the highest degree of credibility, but Ill give him the benefit of the doubt until other evidence comes to light.
mikelphone- May 15, 2012 at 6:44 am
"Nick arrives in Long Beach to the news that there will be no weigh ins that night. As a professional with over 30 fights this was the final straw. The disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event."

Didn't Nick not go to the UFC 137 Press conference and not let anyone know what was going on??? Talk about lack of professionalism and respect. Oh yeah, didn't he take part in a brawl on TV, that made no sense...
This guy is fucked, stop competing, it's too much for you now.
Fried Taco- May 15, 2012 at 6:30 am
I can understand and respect Cesar's explanation. And as he said, Nick didn't handle it correctly. He should have let people know what was happening, and why he wouldn't compete, not just disappear. That lets Braulio paint himself as the good guy. Stupid, Nick, just stupid.
italia furia- May 15, 2012 at 6:10 am
the one thing I will say to Cesar's statement, he's absolutely right about the IBJJF favoring Brazilians...seen it firsthand, and it is a known issue in that community...that aside, people deal and they continue to show up and compete at these tournaments, because they're adults who honor their obligations, so if I register, sign the waiver, and get there w/ equipment, short of illness/injury/emergency, I'M COMPETING..not looking for ways out.
italia furia- May 15, 2012 at 6:06 am
Diaz is a child. It would be different if weigh-ins were stipulated for all matches part of the show, but they weren't. And even then, most spectators, online or in the building, were truly there to watch Diaz compete. He mostly let HIS fans down, including me. Eff Nick, and Cesar, you enabling sommamabitch, you're also culpable. Weight discrepancy aside, this was a win/win for Diaz, because if you win, or are at least competitive, you just took one of the world's most gifted grapplers to the limit, and if you lose, so what, it's freaking Braulio Estima...enormous fail, I AM DISAPPOINT