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Posts Tagged ‘Marcelo Garcia’

Hannette Staack will remember that on this day she became two-time ADCC champion of the over 60kg category, when she insisted on a kneebar till the headstrong Penny Thomas tapped.
Luana Alzuguir will also remember fondly here campaign in the under 60kg. In the final, Alliance’s golden girl (the only gold-winning team member this ADCC) beat a game Sayaka Shioda by 3 to 0 by taking the Japanese grappler’s back.
On this day, Marcelo Garcia lost for the first time in the ADCC at his weight. Pablo Popovitch will remember the last 30 seconds of the under 77kg final, when he put all he had left into passing the three-time champion’s guard to take first place. Popovitch will remember that this was the third final in a row between the two, in the world cup of grappling. It’s 2 x 1 for the Alliance rep, but 2011 isn’t that far off.
Rafael Mendes will also remember the final minute of the under 66kg decider. He’ll recall how the match was drawn at 4 to 4, already in overtime, when he managed to make it to Cobrinha’s back, to make it 7 to 4 and take the gold. Before that, Rafa will remember that he submitted two-time champion Leo Vieira.
Xande Ribeiro will remember the strategy that put the brakes on the revelation of the event, Gerard Rinaldi, winner of the west coast USA trials, who dispatched favorites left and right in making it to the under 99kg final. Despite his disappointment in the absolute, Xande will cherish his second title in the event.
Fabricio Werdum will remember the title he conquered at home. The second championship that he controlled the over 99kg category of and the stands of the Pavilion that he galvanized. The fans he lent to friends while they competed.
Braulio Estima will have the greatest memories of the Sunday, September 27, that he spent in Barcelona. He’ll remember the dream day he spent in the same gymnasium a certain Dream Team enchanted the world in 17 years earlier. Braulio was nearly perfect. In the under 88kg category he caught the foot of Lovato. Then, he clamped a sightly triangle on Andre Galvao, for the gold.
In the absolute, the dream turned to reality. In less than a minute, he extended the arm of Finland’s Janne-Pekka. Then, he squeezed on the neck of Marcelo Garcia and scored 7 to 0 over Vinicius Magalhaes.
When asked about the final of the absolute, Braulio will remember that he went after Xande from the start, that he nearly got the finish with a beautiful triangle and later with an arm attack. He’ll also remember that Xande’s bad luck was his good fortune whenhis adversary gave up, betrayed by an arm injury.
When asked speak of his time winning his weight and the absolute categories of the ADCC, repeating the feat of Ze Mario (1998), Mark Kerr (2000) and Roger Gracie (2005), perhaps Braulio will break into tears like he did in the gymnasium in Barcelona. It’s also possible that time will bring Braulio to believe in his own achievement, which he hadn’t managed to do yet as he exited the Badalona Municipal Pavilion.

Hannette Staack will remember that on this day she became two-time ADCC champion of the over 60kg category, when she insisted on a kneebar till the headstrong Penny Thomas tapped.

Luana Alzuguir will also remember fondly here campaign in the under 60kg. In the final, Alliance’s golden girl (the only gold-winning team member this ADCC) beat a game Sayaka Shioda by 3 to 0 by taking the Japanese grappler’s back.

On this day, Marcelo Garcia lost for the first time in the ADCC at his weight. Pablo Popovitch will remember the last 30 seconds of the under 77kg final, when he put all he had left into passing the three-time champion’s guard to take first place. Popovitch will remember that this was the third final in a row between the two, in the world cup of grappling. It’s 2 x 1 for the Alliance rep, but 2011 isn’t that far off.

Rafael Mendes will also remember the final minute of the under 66kg decider. He’ll recall how the match was drawn at 4 to 4, already in overtime, when he managed to make it to Cobrinha’s back, to make it 7 to 4 and take the gold. Before that, Rafa will remember that he submitted two-time champion Leo Vieira.

Xande Ribeiro will remember the strategy that put the brakes on the revelation of the event, Gerard Rinaldi, winner of the west coast USA trials, who dispatched favorites left and right in making it to the under 99kg final. Despite his disappointment in the absolute, Xande will cherish his second title in the event.

Fabricio Werdum will remember the title he conquered at home. The second championship that he controlled the over 99kg category of and the stands of the Pavilion that he galvanized. The fans he lent to friends while they competed.

Braulio Estima will have the greatest memories of the Sunday, September 27, that he spent in Barcelona. He’ll remember the dream day he spent in the same gymnasium a certain Dream Team enchanted the world in 17 years earlier. Braulio was nearly perfect. In the under 88kg category he caught the foot of Lovato. Then, he clamped a sightly triangle on Andre Galvao, for the gold.

In the absolute, the dream turned to reality. In less than a minute, he extended the arm of Finland’s Janne-Pekka. Then, he squeezed on the neck of Marcelo Garcia and scored 7 to 0 over Vinicius Magalhaes.

When asked about the final of the absolute, Braulio will remember that he went after Xande from the start, that he nearly got the finish with a beautiful triangle and later with an arm attack. He’ll also remember that Xande’s bad luck was his good fortune whenhis adversary gave up, betrayed by an arm injury.

When asked speak of his time winning his weight and the absolute categories of the ADCC, repeating the feat of Ze Mario (1998), Mark Kerr (2000) and Roger Gracie (2005), perhaps Braulio will break into tears like he did in the gymnasium in Barcelona. It’s also possible that time will bring Braulio to believe in his own achievement, which he hadn’t managed to do yet as he exited the Badalona Municipal Pavilion.

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The ADCC committee just released the brackets for the event to get underway tomorrow.

The ADCC committee just released the brackets for the event to kick off tomorrow.
In the under 65 kg division we may see current champion Rany Yahya face the talented Jeff Glover in the second match.
The other finalist from 2007, Leo Vieira, is in the other bracket, with Rafael Mendes and Jeff Curran, among others.
Cobrinha is in the same bracket as Rani, but would only meet him in an eventual semifinal.

In the under 65 kg division we may see current champion Rany Yahya face the talented Jeff Glover in the second match.

The other finalist from 2007, Leo Vieira, is in the other bracket, with Rafael Mendes and Jeff Curran, among others.

Cobrinha is in the same bracket as Rani, but would only meet him in an eventual semifinal.

Marcelo Garcia na segunda luta de 2007, contra Kurt Pellegrino. Dessa vez ele pode ter Kron Gracie como seu adversário na mesma fase. Foto de Luca Atalla

Marcelo Garcia in his second match in 2007 against Kurt Pellegrino. This time he may phase Kron Gracie at the same stage. Photo de Luca Atalla

Marcelo Garcia vs Kron Gracie in the second under 76kg match? That’s what we may see, should both make it out of their first engagement. Pablo Popovitch is at the other end of the bracket.

There’s a lot of beasts in one place, it’s hard to predict, but expect Tarsis Humphreys versus Andre Galvao in the under 88kg semifinals. At the other end, finalist in 2007 in the division above Braulio Estima has face some monsters, among them Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson and Rafael Lovato Jr to make it to the final.

Current under 99kg champion Xande Ribeiro may have a classic match-up against Marcio Pe de Pano in the semifinals. While 2003’s absolute champion Dean Lister has on his end the winner of the Brazilian trials (Glover Teixeira) and the American East Coast tryouts winner (Gerard Rinardi).

Among the heaviest, Fabricio Werdum comes in as favorite up until the semifinals, where he may cross paths with the much lighter Saulo Ribeiro and Romulo Barral, should they make it past their respective giants in the first two matches.

Jeff Monson is at the other end, and may try and repeat his feat from ADCC 2001, when he swept Tom Erikson. Cyborg faces East Coast trials winner Tom Blass in the opener.

The female division the level is very evenly matched. Let’s  see whether young Luana Alzuguir lives up to the expectations since winning the Jiu-Jitsu world title this year by making it to the final, but will have to contend with the winner of the South American trials, Ana Michelle Tavares, should they meet in the semifinal. Among the heaviest, Favorites Hanette Staack and Lana Stephanac may face off in the semifinal.

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Um parque de diversões agita a região de Barcelona onde está situado o hotel dos atletas do ADCC 2009. Os barcelonenses lotam o local e se divertem na roda gigante, no bate-bate, no bungee junping invertido, que promete sensações extremas. E comem. Comem muitos churros, cachorros quentes e maçãs do amor. Por mais que procure, o Blog não acha nenhum atleta entre as milhares de pessoas que curtem a noite de quinta-feira.

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Uma volta na Monumental garante bela vista da orla

Espalhados pelo saguão do hotel Hilton Diagonal Mar, os atletas do ADCC 2009 lutam contra o sono para igualar o fuso horáro. Marcelo Garcia e a esposa Tatiana estão tranquilos: “Agora é só esperar”, sorri o mineiro, antes de ser mais uma vez assediado por uma série de fãs japoneses.

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O bate-bate (ou autochoque)

Rafael Mendes e André Galvão saem para comer no centro comercial em frenbte ao hotel, onde a organização tem um convênio com um restaurante de frutos do mar. A estrela da Atos JJ, que veio à Espanha sem nnhum companheiro de equipe (fora Galvão), ainda está dois quilos acima do peso. Já André está tranquilo: “Estou apenas 800 gramas acima”, revela.

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Marcelinho tenta driblar o sono no saguão

No jantar, encontram os irmãos Xande e Saulo Ribeiro. O segundo é só sorrisos e brinca com o fato de estar inscrito entre os gigantes de mais de 99kg. Com o prato já vazio, Saulo ri: “Já disputei todas as categorias, tenho um título até 88kg e outro até 99kg, agora resolvi tentar acima de 99kg. Já lutei em todas as divisões, menos até 66kg, até porque essa é do Royler”.

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Saulo, Kid Peligro e Xande relaxam após o jantar

Quem também chega para comer é Kron Gracie. Acompanhado apenas de um amigo que não larga o telefone e discute com algém em uma lingua inintelegível, o filho de Rickson admite: “Já lutei umas competições sem kimono, mas essa vai ser a primeira de verdade” reconhece, com o semblante tranquilo. E os adversários, Kron? Difíceis? “Se não fosse, não seria uma competição importante como é”.

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Kron, no peso, espera a comida chegar

De volta ao saguão do hotel. Robert Drysdale e Ronaldo Jacaré estão lado a lado, mas não conversam. O réptil é direto quando perguntado sobre a vez em que os dois já foram da mesma equipe: “Eu treinava em Manaus e ele em São Paulo. Eramos do mesmo time, mas não da mesma equipe. Nunca treinamos juntos”.

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Jacaré pronto para a superluta

A pesagem acontece às 11:00AM dessa sexta-feira (6:00AM no Brasil). Em seguida, será realizada a reunião de regras. Siga ligado no Blog para saber das últimas notícias do ADCC 2009.

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Four days from the star of the 2009 event in Barcelona, the GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 Blog offers up a ranking of the athletes in the tournament’s overall history. In putting it together, we lay out all the results since the first installment of the competition and attribute points according to the importance of each position on the winners’ stand (you will find the points listed below.

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With his win over Ze Mario in 2001, Kerr leads the Ranking, whereas the "Zen Machine" is runner-up even without competing since 2003. Photo: Luca Atalla

According to the criteria adopted for the GRACIEMAG ADCC Athletes Ranking, 67 athletes scored points and guaranteed their places on the list.
For the time being, we release only the male rankings, but the female one is on the way.
The following points criteria was applied:
1.Absolute champion – 20pts
2.Weight category champion – 17pts
3.Supermatch winner – 15pts
4.Absolute runner-up – 13pts
5.Weight category runner-up – 11pts
6.Supermatch runner-up – 9pts
7.Absolute third place – 7pts
8.Weight category third place – 5pts
9.Most technical athlete – 3pts
10.Best match participant – 2pts
In the event of an even number of points, the athlete with wins of greater significance takes the lead. For example, even with the same number of wins, the athlete with an absolute title will be ranked ahead of the athlete who won a weight division.
Check out the GRACIEMAG ADCC Athletes Ranking

According to the criteria adopted for the GRACIEMAG ADCC Athletes Ranking, 67 athletes scored points and guaranteed their places on the list.

For the time being, we release only the male rankings, but the female one is on the way.

The following points criteria was applied:

1.Absolute champion – 20pts

2.Weight category champion – 17pts

3.Supermatch winner – 15pts

4.Absolute runner-up – 13pts

5.Weight category runner-up – 11pts

6.Supermatch runner-up – 9pts

7.Absolute third place – 7pts

8.Weight category third place – 5pts

9.Most technical athlete – 3pts

10.Best match participant – 2pts

In the event of an even number of points, the athlete with wins of greater significance takes the lead. For example, even with the same number of wins, the athlete with an absolute title will be ranked ahead of the athlete who won a weight division.

Check out the GRACIEMAG ADCC Athletes Ranking

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What do you think of the ranking? Leave your comment.

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He was a finalist in the under 77kg category the last two editions. In these two campaigns he beat big names like Renzo Gracie (2005) and Andre Galvao (2007). In the two finals, though, he stopped at the same adversary, Marcelo Garcia. But Popovitch doesn’t give up and will be present in Barcelona.

Not many know, though, that the Brazilian black belt naturalized American’s first appearance in the ADCC was in 2003, in Sao Paulo. There, Pablo also caused some surprise in beating then-under-77kg champion Marcio Feitosa, after which he was eliminated by judges’ decision in a 30-minute battle against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.

He was a finalist in the under 77kg category the last two editions. In these two campaigns he beat big names like Renzo Gracie (2005) and Andre Galvao (2007). In the two finals, though, he stopped at the same adversary, Marcelo Garcia. But Popovitch doesn’t give up and will be present in Barcelona.
No many know, though, that the Brazilian black belt naturalized American’s first appearance in the ADCC was in 2003, in Sao Paulo. There, Pablo also caused some surprise in beating then-under-77kg champion Marcio Feitosa, after which he was eliminated by judges’ decision in a 30-minute battle against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.
In 2009, Popovitch will once again go after what he considers to be his greatest career objective, to win the ADCC. To Spain he takes with him his years of training, his No-Gi Worlds title, conquered in 2007 and lots of determination. Only those who don’t know Pablo Popovitch can doubt he is one of those favored to take down boogeyman Marcelo Garcia.
Direct from the school he heads in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Popovitch spoke with the GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 Blog.
Blog: Tell us a bit about your trajectory in the ADCC.
Pablo Popovitch: To win the American trials for ADCC 2003 was my greatest dream fulfilled! In Sao Paulo, I beat then-champion Marcio Feitosa. After that, unfortunately, I lost the judges’ decision to Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. We fought for 30 minutes and the score stayed at 0 to 0.
Blog: What did this first experience in the ADCC mean to you?
Pablo Popovitch: I grew up watching Feitosa and Shaolin dominate the Jiu-Jitsu lightweight division. To beat Feitosa and lose a decision to Shaolin made me very confident in my Jiu-Jitsu. From that moment on I knew I could be one of the best in the world. I just had to train more and believe in my potenti

In 2009, Popovitch will once again go after what he considers to be his greatest career objective, to win the ADCC. To Spain he takes with him his years of training, his No-Gi Worlds title, conquered in 2007 and lots of determination. Only those who don’t know Pablo Popovitch can doubt he is one of those favored to take down boogeyman Marcelo Garcia.

Direct from the school he heads in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Popovitch spoke with the GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 Blog.

Blog: Tell us a bit about your trajectory in the ADCC.
Pablo Popovitch: To win the American trials for ADCC 2003 was my greatest dream fulfilled! In Sao Paulo, I beat then-champion Marcio Feitosa. After that, unfortunately, I lost the judges’ decision to Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. We fought for 30 minutes and the score stayed at 0 to 0.

Blog: What did this first experience in the ADCC mean to you?
Pablo Popovitch: I grew up watching Feitosa and Shaolin dominate the Jiu-Jitsu lightweight division. To beat Feitosa and lose a decision to Shaolin made me very confident in my Jiu-Jitsu. From that moment on I knew I could be one of the best in the world. I just had to train more and believe in my potential.

Popovitch derrota Galvão, em 2007. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Popovitch defeats Galvão in 2007. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Do you have a motto that encourages you come competition time?
Popovitch: I always thing that “There can be only one”. I participate at every championship with that phrase in my head. And the answer is always the same: “Pablo Popovitch”. That’s not disrespect to my opponents, but my great belief in victory. The day I stop believing it is the day I stop competing.

Blog: What’s your main objective at the moment?
Popovitch: To win the ADCC!

O pódio até 77kg de 2007: Marcelinho, Popovitch e Galvão. Foto: Luca Atalla

Under 77kg podium in 2007: Marcelinho, Popovitch and Galvao. Photo: Luca Atalla

Blog: How would you define your game?
Popovitch: My style of Jiu-Jitsu has gone through several stages. When I was a kid I just wanted to play guard, I loved playing on the bottom. When I started practicing wrestling in the States, I was good at it since I’ve always been really quick and explosive. Wrestling was natural to me. From there, I changed my game. I started becoming a guard passer.

Blog: What’s the path to success in a championship?
Popovitch: I always analyze my opponents a lot. I watch how they pass, sweep, take down, etc… I work to capitalize on my opponent’s weaknesses to win the match. I’m very much a strategist in championships. I always play to win! To me, Jiu-Jitsu is like a chess game. The one who makes no mistakes wins.

What about you? Do you think Popovitch will make it to a third final against Marcelo Garcia? And this time win?

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Xande Ribeiro has already beaten two ADCC absolute champions… but at weight. In 2003, he scored 8 to 0 over Dean Lister. Four years later, he overcame Robert Drysdale with a takedown.
In the open weight category, though, he didn’t have the same luck the two times he participated. In 2005 he took fourth after losing to Roger in the semifinal and to Marcelo Garcia in the bronze-medal dispute and, two years later, in the final phase, after losing to a surprising David Avellan.

Xande Ribeiro has already beaten two ADCC absolute champions… but at weight. In 2003, he scored 8 to 0 over Dean Lister. Four years later, he overcame Robert Drysdale with a takedown.

In the open weight category, though, he didn’t have the same luck the two times he participated. In 2005 he took fourth after losing to Roger in the semifinal and to Marcelo Garcia in the bronze-medal dispute and, two years later, in the final phase, after losing to a surprising David Avellan.

Foto: Luca Atalla

Photo: Luca Atalla

Under 99kg champion in 2007, after an electrifying final with Braulio “Carcara” Estima, Xande returns to the stage of the ADCC with two clear objectives: to take his second weight group title and the much-coveted absolute title, the only one missing from the fighter’s CV.

For such lofty achievements, Xande is training hard in San Diego with brother Saulo (who will compete too) and the whole team at University of Jiu-Jitsu. Even after having gone so long without competing in a grappling tournament (the last was the 2008 Worlds), Xande guarantees he is confident and at full steam.

Desbancando Drysdale em 2007. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Overcoming Drysdale in 2007. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

During a brief pause in training, the two-time absolute champion of Jiu-Jitsu spoke to the GRACIEMAG at ADCC 2009 Blog.

Blog: Tell us a bit about your training for the ADCC.
Alexandre Ribeiro: Truth is that training of the ADCC goes hand in hand with MMA training [Xande had two MMA fights, winning both by TKO], but as I didn’t fight in Japan due to a knee injury, I focused entirely on grappling. I did strength work with Steve Maxwell and later worked on polishing up my game, agility and stretching with Natural Gymnastics teacher Alvaro Romano [GRACIEMAG columnist].

Blog: what has changed in relation to training for a Jiu-Jitsu championship?
Xande: The big difference in relation to Jiu-Jitsu is that the ADCC is a very physical tournament. To dispute it, one needs to train a lot of wrestling. Although the ADCC gives a greater chance of winning to wrestlers and “stallers” who like to run from the action, at the end of the day the ones with sharper Jiu-Jitsu wear themselves out less. Even more so when you think of how the champion has to fight for a minimum of 50 minutes, not including overtimes. That’s why one needs to have a lot of mental fortitude and stamina.

Final eletrizante com Bráulio. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Riveting final with Braulio. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Are you totally recovered from the injured knee? Could your time in recovery, without being able to train, hamper your stamina in Barcelona?
Xande: I’m recovered from the injury and ready to fight for the title. I’ve got great stamina, if just because when I was injured I kept swimming and doing what I could. I might end up feeling a little lack of rhythm, since I haven’t competed since the 2008 Worlds. As for wind, don’t worry, I’ll be 100%.

Blog: Looking at your adversaries under 99kg, who do you imagine will give you the hardest time in getting your second?
Xande: All the opponents are difficult. I’ve seen few of them fight, but looking at who’s signed up I can point out Pe de Pano and Dean Lister. I saw some of Glover Teixeira’s matches, he crafty. There’s also Gerard Rinardi, who they told me is a really good wrestler and grappler. Vinicius “Pezao” is another force, as is Renato “Babalu”, who has really wicked wrestling. I’ve seen flaws and qualities in each of them and I’m prepared to play well both standing and on the ground.

Foto: Luca Atalla

Photo: Luca Atalla

Blog: The ADCC absolute title is the only one you’re missing. How are you dealing with the anxiousness?
Xande: I’m really anxious, but not in a negative way. The anxiousness makes me even more determined. I can’t think of the absolute, when in my weight division there are so many tough guys. To win the absolute, I have to do well in my category and not wear myself out, which is nearly impossible. I can tell you I’m prepared for 100 minutes of war over the weekend. The weekend will be mine and I’ll reach my objective.

Blog: From your previous performances in the ADCC, which would you consider your greatest moment?
Xande: I can say I really liked most of my performances. I was champion in 2007 and beat the 2003 and 2007 absolute champions.

Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Which was your most painful mistake?
Xande: As incredible as it may seem, the most painful moment was not the submission I suffered to Roger in 2005, but the triangle I let escape. But it’s alright, mistakes are there to make us evolve. I hope not to make the same mistake this year.

Blog: Who is the greatest ADCC athlete to date?
Xande: To me, Saulo [Ribeiro] is at the top. He competed in 6 ADCCs and is signed up for a seventh. Of these, he won two, fought in three different categories and will go into a fourth in 2009. In 1999 he was in a final in the gi that lasted 45 minutes against Jeff Monson, as well as other battles. He fought 30 minutes against David Terrel, 20 with Ronaldo Jacare and so on. But we can also stick Royler Gracie and Marcelo Garcia on the list too. And, of course, the blanket Roger Gracie.

Xande vs Napao – ADCC 2005

What about you, do you feel Xande will win the under 99kg and the absolute in Barcelona? Leave your comment.

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Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz’s story in the ADCC can be divided into trips to heaven and those to hell. Ever since his first time in the event in 2001, the two-time absolute world champion of Jiu-Jitsu (2002, 2003) alternated between good and bad moments.
He was over-99kg champion in 2003, in Brazil, without a single point scored against him (as he promised at the press conference beforehand). He later fought with the cheering section that sided with Fabricio Werdum over a controversial point awarded by the arbiter. “I’m the best in the world and that’s that,” he yelled into the stands.

Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz’s story in the ADCC can be divided into trips to heaven and those to hell. Ever since his first time in the event in 2001, the two-time absolute world champion of Jiu-Jitsu (2002, 2003) alternated between good and bad moments.

He was over-99kg champion in 2003, in Brazil, without a single point scored against him (as he promised at the press conference beforehand). He later fought with the cheering section that sided with Fabricio Werdum over a controversial point awarded by the arbiter. “I’m the best in the world and that’s that,” he yelled into the stands.

Céu: nas costas de Marcelinho em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

Céu: nas costas de Marcelinho em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

His statement came back to bite him soon thereafter when, in the absolute semifinal, Pe lost in the final seconds to Dean Lister. After that, he didn’t even make it onto the winners’ stand after losing to the very Werdum.

Two years later, in Abu Dhabi, Pe de Pano started off in style. In the third-place match, he submitted Ricco Rodriguez with a triangle to be remembered.

Besides the slick move, it was in this match that Pe participated in one of the most memorable dialogues in the history of the event. Halfway through the 15-minute extra time in the match, Cruz looked to his corner and asked Renzo Gracie: “If I piddle around here, will I win?” “You’ll win!” replied the other nut.

Inferno: perdendo o bronze para Werdum, em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

Inferno: perdendo o bronze para Werdum, em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

In 2005 and 2007, Pe de Pano recognizes he was much to blame. For that very reason his determination to be champion in 2009 is greater than ever. Direct from the United States, where he is ending his preparations, Pe de Pano spoke with the GRACIEMAG at ADCC 2009 Blog.

Blog: The last time you competed in Jiu-Jitsu was in January, at the European Championship, and then had two MMA fights. How are you feeling, going into the ADCC?
Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz: I’m well prepared, have my head in the right place and a lot of desire to be champion. I had my last MMA fight at the end of August and I stayed here in Florida, where I’m finishing up my training with friends.

Blog: In Jiu-Jitsu you are best known for your deadly guard, but in the ADCC pulling guard means dropping points. Will that hinder or change your game in any way?
Pe de Pano: After I started practicing MMA, I noticed you can’t play guard the whole time, so these days I have a more well-rounded game for the ADCC. I take down better, have a tighter game on top, defend takedowns well and still have the old guard.

Blog: Your big moment in the ADCC was in 2003, when you won the over 99kg division and took fourth in the Absolute. Do you miss that year?
Pe de Pano: Truth is, I don’t miss 2003. I think I could have won the absolute and lost on a trifle.

Campeão em 2003. Foto: Lia Caldas

Champion in 2003. Photo: Lia Caldas

Blog: In 2005 and 2007 things didn’t go the way you’d hoped. What happened?
Pe de Pano: Those two years I had problems training, which didn’t happen this time. I’m well trained and really confident.

Blog: Why did you decide to compete at under 99kg? Won’t you have to lose a lot of weight?
Pe de Pano: Truth be told, no. My last MMA fight was under 100kg and now I intend to fight at under 93kg. In the ADCC I think the under 99kg is more competitive. Beyond that, I want to be champion of a different category from the one I won in 2003.

Blog: O Xande Ribeiro é o cara a ser batido no seu peso? Pé de Pano: Quando entro num campeonato, não penso em um nome apenas, mas com certeza ele tem que ser respeitado por ser o atual campeão e por sua história no esporte.

Injury and tears in 2005. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Is Xande Ribeiro the man to beat at that weight?
Pe de Pano: When I go into a championship I don’t just think of one name, but he surely needs to be respected for being the current champion and for his past in the sport.

Blog: What’s a better sensation, to win the absolute in the Jiu-Jitsu world championship or to be champion of the ADCC, which pays thousands of dollars in prize money?
Pe de Pano: The Worlds is harder because it’s an open championship, while the ADCC leaves out a lot of good guys. Beyond that, the absolute at the Worlds has a little something else. It’s surely more pleasurable to win the Worlds.

Foto: Gustavo Aragão

Photo: Gustavo Aragão

Blog: What was your greatest moment in the ADCC? Is there asubmission or move you did that stands out in your mind to this day?
Pe de Pano: There were a lot of moments, but I remember most the third place I took in 2001, in the over 99kg category. In the bronze-medal dispute I sunk a sweet triangle on Ricco Rodriguez (photo above).

Blog: To finish, of the athletes you’ve seen compete, who do you consider the best in ADCC history?
Pe de Pano: Of those I’ve seen, Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia.

What about you, do you feel Pe de Pano is one of the favorites to take the under 99kg title? Leave your comment.

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