It’s a groundbreaking moment in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu as Aaron ‘Tex’ Johnson has decided to file a lawsuit against Orlando Sanchez for performing an illegal move that resulted in injury. Not just that, but he’s also decided to sue the organization that arranged the competition, FloGrappling, and the referee who presided over the match, Gabriel Martins. The event in question took place all the way back in September 2021, when both Johnson and Sanchez had entered the Who’s Number One Championships event to compete for the promotion’s inaugural Heavyweight world title.
They met in the opening round and it after just a few seconds Johnson had the upper hand in the match, locking up a tight triangle choke and working his way towards a finish. It was then that Sanchez chose to lift Johnson into the air and slam him into the mat, getting disqualified from the tournament as a result. Johnson didn’t show visible signs of injury at the time and even went on to compete once more that day against Tim Spriggs, where he lost a decision and was knocked out of the tournament.
The lawsuit filed by Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner alleges however that Johnson has suffered ‘severe injuries to his back’ as a result of the illegal slam and he will no longer be able to compete as a professional grappler again. They have also stated that Sanchez has a reputation for fighting dirty and made reference to the footage that went viral of him and UFC veteran Sean Strickland in sparring where he attempted to quickly hyperextend Strickland’s elbow.
The lawsuit claims that FloGrappling was negligent by doing nothing to ensure that Orlando Sanchez was aware of the rules and warn of or enforce the rules, and that their agents and employees intervened too late. Similarly, the claim against Gabriel Martins is also that he failed to warn or enforce the tournament rules, and for intervening too late to prevent injury. Lastly, the claim against Sanchez is that he was grossly negligent and is liable for civil assault against Tex Johnson
The attorney who filed the petition, Lena Lorenzo, had this to say in a press release from her firm:
“These tournaments are supposed to be well-organized so that the matches run not just smoothly, but as safely as possible. When reckless fighters break the rules, people can get seriously injured. That’s exactly what happened here. A grappler with a bad reputation was allowed to enter the competition. He then performed an illegal Brazilian jiu-jitsu slam that caused my client severe injuries to his back with ongoing physical and mental repercussions. No one should need back surgery in their 30s, especially a professional athlete who was at the top of his game. Tex Johnson was a very promising and well-known grappler who will never be able to compete as a professional grappler ever again. The responsible parties must be held accountable.”