We reacted the same way.
It wasn’t surprising to see Cesar Gracie fire Caio Terra for helping nemesis Carlos Condit, but it was sort of odd that Gracie had so little to say about it. Never one to shy away from calling someone out, it was strange to see Cesar post a half-assed rant on Facebook about the firing and be done with it. Fortunately, he was asked to address the firing on this week’s edition of The MMA Hour, and by the time he shows up on the show, he does not disappoint.
The segment started off with Areil Helwani asking some pretty standard questions about Nate Diaz’s upcoming title fight, but things get interesting when he plays Terra’s explanation for his decision to train Condit and then asks Gracie for a reaction. Believe it or not, Cesar Gracie does not threaten to slap Helwani for instigating fights, but instead opts to give an articulate response detailing the finer points of Caio Terra’s bitchassness. Via MMAFighting.com:
“He must be happy, because this is literally the most publicity he’s ever received. ” Gracie remarked. “He a jiu-jitsu guy, he doesn’t have any kind of MMA anything.”
“Being the champ at 125 (pounds) with the gi pretty much makes him a formidable force at a teenage girls’ pajama party, or something like that. It’s not a loss to us whatsoever in the MMA scene. Honestly, he’d never won anything before he came on our team, so he should be thankful. You know, people like that, they here come from Brazil, they’re a dime a dozen down there. Trust me. They’re all over the place, these little dudes running around and they’re pretty good at jiu-jitsu. He comes out here in what, 2007, 2008, something like that, and he’s won all his world championships since he’s been on the team. And his first opportunity, he goes and does something stupid like that.”
Gracie then attempts to explain his point to Helwani by using his favorite sports team in an analogy, and although the explanation works well in theory, the fact that Helwani’s favorite football team is the Buffalo Bills just makes everything come off as a cheap pop.
“You’re one of the owners of the Buffalo Bills, or whatever, and you find out the Buffalo Bills’ coach is going to another team to train them and give them the playbook. What happens to him? What does the Buffalo Bills’ owner do when he finds out one of his coaches is going to go do that? Guess what? He’s terminated. He’s immediately terminated and there’s not even a discussion.”
Clearly Cesar Gracie has not watched a Bills game since the early 1990s, but I digress.
Gracie also addresses the fact that most fighters – even his own fighters – temporarily train with different camps in order to switch things up.
“It doesn’t make us bad people, but we’ve got to terminate people like that. We want people that we can rely on. And honestly, I’ll be honest with you, this particular situation, it’s not something that I’m that upset about. If we wanted Condit to lose a fight, we would send him Caio Terra. I’ll tell you why, that’s not even a dig. Caio Terra doesn’t understand anything about MMA. He’s never done any training for it or anything. You can not win a fight with the IBJJ jiu-jitsu rules.
Condit would have done much better, he did great by the way, but he would’ve done much better had he just listened to his other coaches, (Mike) Winkeljohn and those guys, and not sat there and tried to set up some complex submission attempt from the bottom while he was getting punched in the face. That’s what lost him the fight, really.”
And just for good measure:
“I heard [Terra say], ‘The Diaz brothers didn’t call me.’ It’s like, dude, what? Who are you? You’re promoting the Diaz’s and Jake Shields? No, they promoted you. They went on YouTube and helped you out with your videos. They did all this stuff for you to make a name for yourself. They taught you the leglock game because you were getting tapped out all the time when you got down here, and now you’re winning these tournaments and everything because of training with guys like the Diaz’s. And the first opportunity [you get], you give him a little bit of money, you put a camera in his face, the guy’s got like a Napoleon complex, and bam, all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m in the news. I’m with Ariel Helwani talking about it. Cesar’s pissed.’ I’ve turned the page, man. I’ve already replaced the guy. I’ve got better people in already. It’s nothing, so if we can get past [it], get over it, whatever, that’s it.”
To recap everything: Terra is a force to be reckoned with at a teenage girls’ pajama party, but he’s an easily replaceable coach who showed no loyalty to the gym that taught him the leglock game by training Condit – even though Condit lost because he was listening to Terra’s advice. Oh, and he also has a Napoleon complex.
Never change, Cesar Gracie. Never change.