Article by Chuck Hardin.
Jeremy "Jay" Grissom is an MMA fighter in Cleveland, Tennessee. He claimed a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a 32-2 amateur MMA record, and a 10-1 professional MMA record. These claims have been proven to be false, and the BJJ black belt claim has been disowned by Grissom himself. He has not addressed any questions or appeared at any fights since. His criminal history suggests that his false martial arts claims are part of a long-term pattern of deceptive behavior.
Grissom put up a website promoting himself as a mixed martial arts fighter in which he claimed a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a combined professional and amateur record of 42 wins and three losses, including a 10-1 professional record.
Grissom was also listed as an instructor at the Lake Norman Ju Jitsu Academy in Huntersville, North Carolina. Its description page contained only a summary of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which implied that it was a BJJ school.
These websites raised several red flags. For example, Bullshido member Art pointed out that the Lake Norman BJJ page was lifted wholesale from the Wikipedia page on BJJ. Grissom gave no details of his experience or ranks on either site; he never named an instructor, an opponent, or an event.
Bullshido members, as well as members of MMA.tv and Sherdog, decided to investigate these claims further.
What The Records Show
Grissom's amateur record was known to consist of a single loss and no wins or draws. While such records are rarely comprehensive, it seems unlikely that such a prominent winning record as Grissom claimed would be totally unrecorded.
Additionally, Grissom's past criminal record of aggravated burglary (page 1, page 2) suggested that his unsupported word might not be worth trusting. Bradley County Court records (page 1, page 2, page 3) further prove that Grissom was sentenced to probation for this crime, which he subsequently violated.
Grissom's Evolving Story
I have had some mma fights and boxing bouts and jujitsu tournaments spanning over 10 years. I was doing smokers and fightingbefore it was cool to be in mma. There is a lot of comments as to the creditability of my black belt. It’s true that my belt did not come from a Gracie or Brazilian instructor, but I did spend 9 yrs of hard work on the mat earning my black belt from an instructor. His name is Todd Schalles out of Manchester New Hampshire.
His manager told a similar story, according to MMA.tv member relsonblackbelt:
[H]is manager says his black belt is under Todd Schalle from Boston Mass. He says he fought in BoDog.He says all of his fights were non sanctioned. ... His manager says he has fought for Lane Colluer as well.
relsonblackbelt later spoke with Grissom himself:
I just got off the phone with Jay. He says none of his fights were sanctioned, he says he fought for a promoter I know. He is NOT a BJJ black belt. He says there was a misunderstanding, the website was put up before he read it...
None of these accounts explained why Grissom referred to teaching BJJ on two separate websites, and claimed a black belt in it on his personal site.
"Todd Schalle" or "Schalles" proved to be hard to find. Bullshido member battlefields could locate no instructor by that name, and asked Grissom for more information. However, Grissom has not returned to Bullshido at this writing. Justin Schulman, a BJJ black belt with Gracie Barra Boston, had never heard of Schalle or Schalles.
In the meantime, Jeremy Arel, a South Carolina BJJ instructor, had a discussion with the employees of The Rock MMA And Fitness Center in Huntersville, which briefly employed Grissom as a BJJ instructor:
The Rock MMA is a new gym that has just opened in Huntersville. All of the people that run the gym moved here from Minnesota and they are honest, hard training, bang it out MMA guys... the problem is they ARE NOT BJJ guys.
Apparently the guy would not roll with anyone, ALWAYS wore his tapout hat (even when teaching) and was generally full of bullshit. The head instructor, sensing something was up, asked him who he got his blackbelt from and when the guy couldnt answer the simple question he was basically replaced.
They realize this and tried to outsource the grappling instruction to a legitimate BJJ instructor and approached a couple different black belts in the area (Alliance, Steve Hall) and were not able to obtain a black belt (hell we only have 4 or 5 in the area). They were then approached by this guy Jay Grissom who says he's a black belt in BJJ. The guys gave him a little trial run (less than a week) and then ended up firing him when they realized something was up.
Chuck Hardin called the manager of The Rock MMA on April 5, 2010. He confirmed that the above conversation took place, and that Arel's recollection of it was fully accurate.
Bullshido concludes that Jay Grissom tried to fake a BJJ black belt and then tried to back out of the lie when he was found out. His impostures and his past crimes strongly suggest that he is not to be trusted. If you consider dealing with him, make sure you first confirm any claims he's making to your satisfaction.
Nevertheless, Bullshido would be happy to add information about Grissom's fight career, and ties to the mysterious "Todd Schalle" or "Schalles", if Grissom would return to Bullshido.net and provide some proof concerning these claims.