When Gleison Tibau was replaced by Marcus Aurelio a few days ago to fight Hermes Franca at UFC90, I thought “Hmm, cool. Jiu jitsu war!” Aurelio is gonna be tougher for Franca to beat that Tibau would have been. And now Kid Nate is putting forward a theory that adds yet another dimension to the fight: a feud between Franca and American Top Team.
So the story goes, back in the day Franca was teaching under the ATT banner and gave Kurt Pellegrino a black belt. ATT leader Ricardo Liborio disagreed on Pellegrino’s readiness and told Franca to take the belt back. In response, Hermes took a picture of himself and a few other guys holding an ATT flag upside down and giving the finger. The picture was then sent to Liborio, ties were severed, and that’s the story of the grudge.
Wars between jiu jitsu squads have rages across years and continents over much less. One thing I’ve learned is that the world of BJJ is like West Side Story, with all the gay dancing replaced by gay grappling. The singing? The singing is cool. When you’re ATT you’re ATT all the way, from your first guard pass, to your last dying day!