Iron City MMA: Khristian Geraci, BJJ Black Belt in Pittsburgh, PA?
Khristian Geraci from Iron City MMA claims a black belt in BJJ here:
Name: Khristian "The SANDMAN" Geraci
Weight Class: 145
Record: Pro 19-6-0-1
Profile: Khristian is the head instructor at Iron City and holds a Black Belt in BJJ. He is also a professional boxer and Muay Thai Kickboxer. He is the current Extreme Cagefighting Lt.Weight Champion and has created a fight team that is like none this sport has ever seen!!!
He claims to have started his own MMA black belt system:
"At the center of the training center’s unique approach is the unprecedented and original MMA Black Belt program. Sensei Geraci developed his own MMA Black Belt program over the course of 11 years. He’s been fighting for over 26 years now and came across a plethora of styles he built into the program. “The sport’s evolved to a point where one style no longer works. You have to be well-rounded. You have to train in all aspects of the game,” Geraci explained. “I started experimenting with other systems, taking what was good, and throwing out what was bad. Anything you can think of you’ll find in my program if it works in the ring.”
His Sherdog fight record is significantly different than his claimed MMA record:
Here is a video of one of my instructors (who is now a purple) beating this guy 17-0 in no gi grappling in 2006:
Jimmy had a blue belt at the time(I think).
I have no affiliation with Iron City MMA. I've never met Mr. Geraci, nor have I stepped foot in his gym. I do train with Bobby Palumbi in Pittsburgh. Bobby is a Team Balance brown belt under Phil Migliarese (http://www.balancestudios.net/bjj_instructors_brown.htm)
Much of this was researched by the guy in the google vid, Jimmy Cerra.
Okay, so this just got a little more interesting. My instructor, Bobby Palumbi wrote this to Geraci:
Mr. Geraci ,
My name is Bobby Palumbi, and I am a Balance Studios brown belt under Relson Gracie/Phil Migliarese. There has been much talk in the BJJ community as of late that your BJJ black belt was never awarded to you, and that you basically promoted yourself. As someone who is working towards his Black belt, it is very frustrating to hear these stories, and I would take a great deal of offense towards it if it were true.
I am not writing you to criticize your rank. Instead, I am giving you an opportunity to prove yourself and silence the banter about your belt status. Team Balance Pittsburgh is having an in-house tournament on Sunday, April 6th. It will be a small tournament. We are having a blue belt absolute division, and I would like to invite you, free of charge, to compete in this division.
If you would rather compete in one match gi superfight, that can be arranged. I would be honored to step on the mat and test my skills against an accomplished BJJ black belt. However, I know that you weigh around 160. I walk around at 205, but I could cut to 190.
I understand that this could be a problem because I am still heavier. I have a purple belt named Jimmy Cerra who could make 160 without a problem, and he would be glad to compete against you. Also, I have two new blue belt, both around 160 and under a year's worth of training. They would love the opportunity to step on the mat with a BJJ blackbelt and test their skills.
Again, this is a way to squash the rumors and prove your validity as a BJJ black belt in the community. I hope to hear from you soon,
Team Balance Pittsburgh
Geraci wrote back:
I have no problem proving my worth and I appreciate your respectful approach to the situation. I do have a problem with the proposed date though... if you want to set something up privately between you and I for after May 17th I would be honored to roll with you. Thank you!
Yes there will be video!
Oh and this guy has a tapout logo tattooed on his back, so you know he is 100% win.
as a plus we actually do know this guy really exists.
So I volunteer to go accept his inevitable challenge since I got blue-balled last time.
- Eddie Bravo invented the triangle choke when he used it to tap out helio gracie at an ac/dc concert.
Nice work, sounds like he's a fraud with a terrible tattoo.
I love the tapout tattoo.
LOL @ tattoo. This thread smells of win. Can't wait for it to develop.
Well as a plus, he does apparently fight MMA. That at least means he doesnt sit at a computer and simply type that he trains. But BJJ black? Dont think so.
Though it surely doesn't condemn him, that grappling vid was damaging for him...
Any Bullies in the area who can give his gym a visit?
So Jimmy (the guy who wins in that video) went to Geraci's gym, and rolled with his so-called blues and purples. Here is his write up:
I went to their school tonight; because, I won't be in town next week. I felt honor-bound to go there asap. They run their MMA gym in the bottom of a tanning salon. I participated in their practice and tapped our their "purple belt" instructor a few times. Khristian wasn't in town so he ran class instead.
The warm-ups were ok, but the instruction was kinda lazy. Most people didn't even participate for the technique phase of the practice and just hung out talking on the edge of the mat. Now I understand these are basics, but I still drill the most simple technique even if I know it. Then during rolling, they only had one group at a time (2 minute rounds) because mat space was limited. One guy went to sleep (I didn't do it). I rolled with the instructor a few times and dominated him positionally the first two rounds. During the third round I turned up the heat and tapped him out twice. He seemed to know what to do, and he has a good attitude. He could be a blue belt in skill level if he drilled more and was more explosive, but he's not a purple belt in ability right now. He complained to me that only Khristian could tap him out at the place. Most of them seemed athletic, but they need more technique.
At the end of practice, I told them that Khristian was in lots of trouble with the BJJ community for faking his black belt. They said they could show me his black belt, but I told them he could have bought it and that the belt wasn't important. I asked about his lineage, and they gave me the same story about some Rodriguez guy. I told them that's not possible, and they said Khristian said he was authorized to promote through the "American black belt association." I told them that organization can't authorize Khristian for promoting people in BJJ. Either the CBJJ or Khristian's own BJJ instructor can legitimatize it. But since nobody can verify Khristian's lineage, that their ranks would be shunned. Some seemed loyal to their gym, some seemed to be angry at Khristian, and some didn't seem to care much one way or the other. Nobody gave me a hard time. I was just honest and not angry saying it.
I don't think their blue belts have the skills of a blue belt. I don't think their purple is really a purple either. I don't think Khristian has been honest with them, giving them photocopied certificates for their "BJJ ranks." If Khristian does not attend our in-house tournament in April, something should be done before he screws everyone up.
Sorry, no photos or videos. I went alone and just brought by camera phone, but forgot to get a photo.