Throw Back Thursday! The Eye Witness Report of Ryan Gracie Vs. Walid Ishmael Fight From Pepe Beach in Rio de Janeiro
This was an epic time in Rio. Vale Tudo was at is zenith and there was a lot of tension between the Carlson Gracie and Carlos Gracie Barra Gracie sides of the family. At this time I was living in Rio training everyday and I got to see it all go down. So here is an actually report of what went down on the beach and then I took 3 buses across Rio to Copacabana to meet with Walid himself to get his side of the story.
Keep in mind that I was a Ralph Gracie student training and Gracie Barra. Walid had already beat Ralph & Renzo Gracie and was on a war path to beat all the other Gracies. So I was going in to enemy territory. Everyone from Gracie Barra told me not to go!! But I had to get the other side of the story.
When I got there I was amazed at how nice Walid, Ze Mario, Jucao, and Carlson himself were. (BTW Blue belt Dean Lister was there training hard!) They didn’t even know who I was. They took me in, let me train for free and even took me out to lunch and to the beach after. Much friendlier than my “team” at Gracie Barra was to me. It was a big eye opener to not believe the “boosheet” I was being feed about the Carlson Gracie Team and BJJ in general in Brazil.
This interview really put On The Mat on the map with the audio interview with Walid back in 1999. It really went viral before viral was even a thing online.
Here is the actual report we posted in 1999. And, if you haven’t listened to this interview before. Just imagine a pissed off roided up Walid 2 inches from my face snapping and going off in a very hot small sweaty BJJ gym in Rio. It was intense.
The Mosquito really caught the buzz down on the beach the other day. It is obvious that Walid is trying to start some shit showing up at Pepe beach. Here’s what happened directly from the Mosquito.
The Mosquito Report;
So there I was having the time of my life in Rio; training jiu-jitsu at the best academy in the world, (starts with Barra ends with Gracie) going to the beach, eating acai and checking out all the beautiful women in their beach ‘attire`. As I`m coming back from a little body surfing session I see Ryan Gracie over at the juice stand with all the other jiu-jitsu comrades. I decided to pay my respects and stroll over but it seemed Ryan was busy yelling and pointing at someone about 30 yards away. I figured it was a friend until I heard the well know Portuguese word `viado` which means fag. I look over to see who it is and it’s a face that everyone in jiu-jitsu knows, Walid Ismail.
Walid was standing there in full combat form, arms spread out and his chest inflating, yelling right back. I thought oh shit! Is this a movie? The biggest vale tudo fight in Brazil since the Rickson/Zulu fight is already booked for April and now it might happen right here on Pepe beach! No way!
I figured they were just gonna flex a little and bark at each other and be on their way.
Wrong! Ryan kept repeating ‘De nova! De nova! De nova viado!’ Which means again fag? Again? He was referring to the punch that he gave Walid at the recent Mundial Competition. He was also stating that Walid was at the wrong beach and needed to go back up north where the ‘pale’ people live. Walid was motioning to Ryan that he had signed the contract and he was gonna beat him bad.
(Use your imagination here folks, this is good!)
This was not just another Ryan/Macaco fight. This is the so-called Gracie hater of the millennium and the young lion of the family defending. You have Ryan Gracie standing on the bench pointing and yelling at the top of his lungs. Then you have Walid out on the hot sidewalk (I know his feet were burning!) with his big ears, his crazy eyes, punching his fist yelling back. Pretty soon a big crowd starts to form and Ryan starts saying in Portuguese, ‘Vamos agora!’ Let’s go right now!
Walid starts pointing to the little patch of grass that he’s standing by. After a few minutes of taunting and provoking, Ryan has had enough and is seeing red. He quickly tells his friend Philippe to watch his back and starts to walk over towards Walid like a man with one purpose. He starts to take his shirt off I’m thinking, oh shit this is gonna be good! I was also thinking how bad of a reporter I was for not having my camera but hey, I cant be a tourist everyday. (sorry guys!)
Everyone starts running over to get a good view, and guess who’s right in front? The Mosquito!
Ryan and Walid square off about 8 feet apart and everybody is yelling something in Portuguese that I can’t understand. The air is thick with hostility and tension and I don’t know why but my heart is pounding faster. Walid says something to Ryan and points at Ryan’s leg. I thought he said no kicking but it turned out that he was seeing if Ryan had any keys laced in his knuckles. Right when I thought all hell was gonna break loose on Pepe beach a few guys got in there and broke it up. Ryan got a few spits in though, that landed! Pretty far too!
After they broke it up guess what? They started yelling at each other again from their same corners like two pit bulls barking at each other for the preflight. It finally calmed down when the police came and they both scrammed.
Afterwards I was thinking, only in Brazil on Pepe beach can you get the best of both worlds; jiu-jitsu fighting and beautiful women. It turns out they were at each other’s throats the next day at some gym! Who knows, maybe we will have some action photos for you guys out there in the ‘other’ jiu-jitsu world yet!
Hang in there with us.
Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions about Brazil. Well do our best to get you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help us Nino, I mean God!
Until the next exciting time this is The Mosquito, buzz out!