Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) veteran and all around jiu-jitsu wizard, Braulio Estima, was supposed to face Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Nick Diaz in a grappling match last year at the Jiu-Jitsu World Expo.
The match never came to be because Diaz failed to show for the event, something that didn't sit too well with the Carlos Gracie Jr. black belt.
Nevertheless, Estima -- who made a successful mixed martial arts (MMA) debut last August against Chris Holland at Titan FC 24 -- was in attendance at UFC 158, taking in the backstage festivities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and saw an opportunity to introduce himself to the Stockton slugger after his unanimous decision loss to Georges St. Pierre.
Diaz, however, was not in the mood and was having none of it, pushing Estima instead of shaking his hand.
Braulio stopped by "The MMA Hour" today (Mar. 18, 2013) to explain the run-in he had with Team Diaz which included Kron Gracie, a person Estima considered a friend.
"After the fight, when I saw everyone hugging each other and everyone talking to each other, I thought as a sportsman, it was my duty, like we all do, to show some respect. You know what I mean? Both warriors there, they put so much time into it and they did a big fight for the fans. Nick Diaz actually fought very good. I never met him before ever in my life and it was the first time that I ever saw him. I had shaken the corner man's hands and when [Diaz] was coming in my direction, I stepped forward to shake his hand and he kind of pushed me on the side. I can't control that. I can only do my part. I can only go there and show my respect and he just pushed me away. What can I do? Then, they said thanks to me for not pushing back, but then how can I even do that? To ruin the whole night of the beautiful night that was for GSP in his hometown. Everyone would be talking about that thing instead of the great victory he had."
That wasn't the end of it, however, as Braulio revealed Team Diaz was in full force a bit later and says he was disappointed that longtime friend, Gracie, for whatever reason, dished out a few choice words which left Blackzilian puzzled:
"With Kron, that was my biggest disappointment. Kron I consider him a friend of mine, beyond anything, we both represent BJJ. We hang out a lot together and he stayed in my academy and we trained together and we joke around and always laugh with each other. He coached Nick Diaz at the fight that was supposed to happen at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo last year, and we still talked and laughed after all that stuff. I felt he was kind of pushed back, he was like, ‘just get out of here, just go away.' I felt let down because I admire him as a fighter and a friend. I got intrigued as to why, you know? When I was going to the locker room, there was a little bit, I tried for a second time. I said, ‘Kron, bro, listen, what's going on man? Were friends.' And then Nate Diaz was beside him and I felt the pressure, I mean they are friends. Nick Diaz was doing the urine test and Nate Diaz was there. And [Kron] says, 'listen bro, just get out of here to don't get things worse.'
So, I left, I respect that. I said, ‘okay.' This is not the problem. He is cornering two guys that must hate me for some reason. The problem is, I already let go of the situation and I stayed back with my team and then they passed, and they tried to trap me and, you know, Kron started talking Portuguese. He tells me, ‘man, you better watch out, you are going to get your ass kicked you motherfucker.' I said, ‘what the hell?' He knew I would never step forward to possible street fight with none of them. They know that. Especially there, I mean, we are here in Montreal. There are over a hundred fighters of the Tri-Star around me. If I step forward, do you think, what would happen? You know what I mean? If something happened, I know there would be some revenge at some point and I would never be comfortable to go to California to do BJJ fights. That was my frustration, I didn't really expect that, it was very surprising."
Perhaps the fact that Estima spends time training at Tri-Star gym alongside St. Pierre didn't sit too well with both Gracie and Diaz.
Are you (un)surprised by Nick's reaction to Estima's attempted friendly gesture? Can you imagine the backlash and aftermath had a brawl erupted between Team Tri-Star and Team Gracie backstage? Thankfully cooler heads prevailed.