Royler Gracie speaks; Guy Neivens responds

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Royler Gracie issued an open letter addressing the events surrounding the balyhooed rematch between him and Eddie Bravo at the ADCC, directing some scathing criticism at the head of the organization, Guy Neivens. Guy Neivens swiftly answered with an open letter of his own. Check out what Royler and Guy had to saw. First Royler:

To all my Fans.

Here is the truth regarding my potential participation in an ADCC Super Fight: I received a call from my cousin, Renzo, who told me that ADCC was interested in having me participate in their September event. I told him that it would be a pleasure for me to once again compete for the ADCC organization. Renzo said that ADCC Vice President Guy Neivens would contact me to negotiate the terms of my contract, including the purse for the match. The following day, the ADCC website reported the match and several media outlets contacted me. I stated that it would be great to once again train hard for a grappling match and that I was confident that we would be able to enter into a contract. At that point no details had been discussed nor had I even spoken with anyone from the ADCC organization regarding this match.

Guy Neivens called me several days later to negotiate the contract terms for the match. In my experience, these negotiations are always confidential. The very next day, I was shocked to learn that Mr. Neivens had disclosed certain details of our conversation to the public. Perhaps Mr. Neivens was attempting to trick me into entering into an unfair contract? Regardless of his motivation, it is deplorable that someone working for Sheik Tahnoon would, in my opinion, behave in such an unethical, unprofessional and disrespectful manner. The Sheik is a distinguished man who has been instrumental in the growth of submission wrestling throughout the world. Mr. Neivens’ actions show, in my opinion, an inability to perform his duties as VP of ADCC and unworthiness to represent the Sheik.

Everyone knows that I am a fighter. I have never shied away from a challenge. Since I was 6 years old, I have fought hundreds of matches for free, just for the love of the sport. I have fought under sport jiu-jitsu rules, judo rules, submission wrestling rules, MMA rules and many times without any rules. I have faced opponents sometimes twice my size. Cowardice is not a word in mine or my family’s vocabulary. Throughout my almost 40 year career, I achieved the pinnacle of my sport, including seven world titles. When fighting in a professional event, after years of dedication, it is only fair and appropriate for me to ask for a reasonable purse that reflects my successful career in the ring and my unimpeachable conduct as a professional athlete. Everyone who knows me understands that I will show up to any event well prepared. This entails me having to stop teaching classes and seminars for approximately two months with great financial cost to my family and me. All I am asking is for the ADCC organization to cover these expenses. I am still confident that the Abu Dhabi organization will treat me with the respect that I have earned and will come through with this match in the name of all our loyal fans and supporters

Guy Neivens’s response:

In response to Royler Gracie letter Royler is a true champion of ADCC with an unbeaten three world titles to his name,a true legend.

ADCC goal since 1998 has been to promote Submission Fighting worldwide,having success now with Federations in more than fifty countries.A few months ago ADCC committee decided it would generate more interest in the sport to promote some veteran matches- Renzo Gracie and Mario Sperry is now confirmed,and the idea of a rematch between Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo seemed a natural re-match.

ADCC secured sponsorship for the prize money for each fight $25000 however, it turned out Royler wanted $50000 just to appear plus the $25000 if he won,that would be $75000 for a senior grappling match!ADCC attempted to secure more sponsorship,until now with no success.Thereafter it was decided that we cannot offer more to veterans than we do to our current superfight contenders Jacarre and Braulio.It should be noted ADCC is a non-profit making organisation with the sole intent to make it a worldwide sport.However we would love to still see this fight go ahead.

Both Royler who has competed three times and thousands of other fighters who have competed in ADCC are aware there has never been any contract between ADCC and any fighter, it is a tournament attended by invitation or qualification.

ADCC will continue to promote the sport of submission fighting with the aim of getting the respect and support it surely deserves.

Guy Neivens

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