While official details on Renzo Gracie‘s Sunday night arrest are still scarce, both sides of the altercation are starting to talk about what happened outside of 1-OAK nightclub in New York City, which ended with a doorman getting his ass kicked. Here’s what Gracie himself told MMAFighting.com via text message on Tuesday afternoon, after the MMA pioneer was booked for misdemeanor assault with intent to cause injury, then released on $10,000 bail:
“Everything is a misunderstanding. We always had a great relationship with that amazing club and all their employees. Soon everything will be clear.”
Alright, fine. Maybe this is just one of those things that happens late at night when you mix alcohol and testosterone. Maybe Renzo and Igor Gracie showed up to the club and the bouncer was wearing a “LUTA LIVRE IS THE STRONGEST” t-shirt, and one thing led to another. A comment was taken the wrong way. The bouncer failed to recognize who these Gracies were, bro. Maybe.
However, the bouncer himself — 35-year-old Craig Molesphini — has a very different story, and it suggests that the attack was premeditated. Here’s what Molesphini told the New York Post:
“In my entire 14-year career, I have never seen anything like this. At 1:30 a.m. a gray van pulled up, parked in the middle of the street, seven men exited the vehicle and started creating mayhem, screaming, pointing, starting to pick fights with the security guards. One man, [who] I later learned was Renzo, came in my direction, threw the velvet rope on the floor, ran straight into my chest and knocked me back onto the concrete floor onto my elbow. He was on top of me for 20 seconds, trying to punch me, but I wrapped both my arms around his neck so he couldn’t hit me, before somebody pulled him off.”
He added of the brawl, “All of the seven men were fighting, doing MMA moves on the guards, some of whom were injured. When the police arrived, they tried to get away, but the cops parked in front of their van, which was waiting with a driver.”
He said the attack was “retribution for me not allowing two of their masters into the venue last week. This was a carefully planned and coordinated attack. The police arrested all seven of them.”
Molesphini reportedly suffered a fractured elbow and shoulder. His lawyer Salvatore Strazzullo said they were cooperating with the district attorney, and could also file a civil assault claim.
Misunderstanding or not, this could turn into a very expensive mistake for Renzo. We’ll keep you posted…