AJ Agazarm has had an interesting trajectory in the BJJ community. Agazarm was one of the rare Americans in the sport of BJJ in 2014. At the time, the scene had a lot of Brazilians who were not that willing to trash talk and generate publicity.
This opened up the door for Agazarm to sneak in. He became an IBJJF Nogi Champion in 2014. What followed was a worldwide viral incident in which Vagner Rocha kicked Agazarm off of the stage with a Sparta kick in 2016.
There are speculations that this incident resulted in a legal dispute between Agazarm and the event’s streamer, Flograppling, which resulted in Agazarm receiving compensation and favorable coverage in return.
Agazarm would reach his peak when he won a silver medal at ADCC in 2017. His transition into MMA followed.
Bellator was in the business of signing BJJ champions at the time and had inked deals with both DIllon Danis and AJ Agazarm.
And while Danis was much more notorious and much younger than Agazarm – Agazarm was caught lying about his age and has his own set of controversies.
Agazarm attended Ohio State University from 2008 until 2011 and Wrestled during his tenure – easily disproving what he claims on his BJJ resume and public profiles.
Bellator would book Agazarm, who joined the Nick Diaz academy to compete in MMA. He would end up making a funny MMA debut against Jesse Roberts in January of 2019.
But a funny MMA debut isn’t the be-all-end-all. Agazarm went on to win his next three bouts against relatively unknown opponents.
At Bellator 243, Agazarm was booked to face Cris ‘Sunshine’ Lencioni. In case Lencioni’s name sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve seen him compete at Submission Underground.
After an unanimous decision loss Agazarm went on to share a very controversial statement – which never really received an adequate amount of publicity.
“The first thing I noticed is that there was a judge that should not have been there. Douglas Crosby. He’s had relationships with me, he’s had relationships with my opponent. He’s definitely not impartial.”
“This fight should be immediately pulled and if not turned into a loss for [Lencioni], turned into a draw, and ran back,” Agazarm continued. “What was [Crosby] doing judging that fight?”
“He’s [Douglas Crosby] helped on a number of matches in jiu jitsu, he even helped me with my contract with Bellator,” Agazarm stated.
“By no means whatsoever should he be there, it’s completely uncalled for. Puts me in a bad position, puts my opponent in a bad position. And to me, it’s unethical.”
Douglas Crosby is a notorious MMA judge that refuses to honor the widely accepted judging criteria and went so far as to suggest that he would come to various gyms in person and explain his criteria during a recent zoom session with esteemed coaches including Xtreme Couture’s Eric Nicksick.
To add insult to injury, Crosby is behind two prominent screw ups that happened recently. Crosby judged UFC 282 and Bellator 289.
He’s also infamously close with Chael Sonnen., and so is Lencioni – having appeared at Submission Underground a number of times.
Bellator’s Commission head Mike Mazzulli was forced to respond to the comments Agazarm had made and he told MMAJunkie:
“There’s no merit in that at all. Basically, AJ came to me afterward and state that he couldn’t believe there was a 30-26 score. He automatically assumed that it was Doug Crosby and that was incorrect.”
Crosby scored the fight 29-28, making him the only of the three judges to score a round in Agazarm’s favor.
This incident seemed to seal Agazarm’s fate in terms of MMA and he hasn’t competed since. Instead, Agazarm returned to BJJ where he’s had mixed success. He was unable to medal at ADCC, having been eliminated in the first round.
Currently, Agazarm is helping Felipe Pena prepare for the Gordon Ryan rematch and he’s been leaving interesting comments. One of the comments shades Ryan for his inability to transition into MMA.
Agazarm seemed irked about Ryan’s offer to help coach on UFC reality series TUF:
“hahaha are you implying that they use you? maybe for cleaning the mats your “jiu jitsu” would get absolutely destroyed in an mma fight and that’s a fact you poser”
Agazarm might not be at his peak, but he’s certainly an interesting cautionary tale of BJJ talent failing to adapt and getting caught up in the politics of MMA.