sanguine cynic -
Damien Riccio storming Robin Gracie's seminar.
It's no fault of Robin's, other than having the last name, but the Gracie Challenge still stood and Riccio accepted it. You kinda live by the sword, die by the sword when you have that last name.
Robin, to his credit, after a seminar and a bunch of rolling, still honored the challenge and accepted it.
What's the story here? I haven't heard it.
Damien Riccio, a French MMA fighter, showed up to a Robin Gracie seminar in Spain, and challenged him to a vale tudo match on the spot. Of course, as the Gracie Challenge had been longstanding, and since the Gracies were probably the biggest dojo stormers of them all, Robin was somewhat obligated to answer it, though I seem to remember video of him being reluctant to (note: not because he was "scared" but because it was in the middle/end of a seminar he was doing a seminar with paying students still present).
I'm not going to pretend to really know anything about Robin, as I believe he's been in Europe for a very long time, but I seem to remember thinking that he was more of a sport JJ type than a "fighter". He fought with Riccio for awhile, Riccio on top in guard, landing headbutts. After while, Robin can be seen lightly tapping Riccio on the head, so as to concede the fight . You can still see the encounter on BJJ Eastern Europe and other sites, just Google it and draw your own conclusions. It was kind of an odd moment for Robin to tap, as he was very much holding his own in the fight, but rumor was that he had just rolled a bunch of rounds and was far from being fresh. In any case, after what I would call a 50/50 struggle, Robin concedes, and Damien jumps up like he just won the Olympics and it takes on a life of it's own from there.
This immediately starts a wildfire on this site, and soon enough, Royce gets involved, wanting to challenge Riccio, and there is speculation that at some point, Royce kicked Riccio's dear brother, Pepe. Riccio and Pepe, as well as Royce, both posted on this forum sharing insights, threats, and their sides of the story.
My memory is a bit hazy, so my recounting may not be 100% correct. I believe the damage control story was that Robin said for Riccio to come back at a later time, and they'd run it back, which of course, was never a luxury the Gracies offered to anyone they stormed, so this is basically a case of them getting beat at their own game. It was maybe somewhat of an unfair targeting, as I dont know if Robin ever participated in dojo storming, himself, but again, that's the business you sign up for as a Gracie.
I might be butchering the backstory, so maybe another UG'er who was here at that time could set it straight