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Marcelo Garcia

Marcelo Garcia also known as ‘Marcelinho’, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Fabio Gurgel, who competes for the Alliance BJJ academy. Having won 5 world jiu jitsu tournaments and 4 times the ADCC (two of the most important tournaments in jiu jitsu), Garcia is widely considered one of the best grapplers in the world, while his general demeanor made him one of the most beloved athletes by the BJJ community. Marcelo Garcia has also been featured in BJJHeroes top 10 Best Grapplers of All Time list.

Marcelinho Garcia Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Marcelo Garcia

Nickname: Marcelinho is a friendly way of saying Marcelo, much like “little Marcelo”.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fabio Gurgel > Marcelo Garcia.

Main Achievements:

  • Pan-Am Champion (2007)
  • ADCC champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2011)
  • World Champion (2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Brazilian National Champion (2004 & 2006 middleweight, 2006 absolute).

Favorite Position/Submission/Technique: Arm-drag, X-Guard, Butterfly Guard, Guillotine and Mata Leao.

Weight Division: Peso Médio/Middleweight (82Kg-181lbs).

Team/Affiliation: Team Aliance

Marcelo Garcia DVD Instructionals and Merchandise

Marcelo Garcia Biography

Marcelo Garcia was born in a small town called Formiga (which means “Ant” in English) in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil (1983). He realized he wanted to pursue Martial Arts at a very young age by watching 1980’s blockbusters as a child, movies like the Karate Kid or older films like Enter the Dragon were amongst his favourites. Even though Marcelinho lived in a Brazilian town, Jiu Jitsu was not available as it was famous mainly in the big cities (in fact Marcelo didn’t hear about BJJ until years later).

Hyped by the films he loved, he began practicing Karate at the age of 8. He spent years dedicating himself to the Japanese Martial Art, focusing on the Kata’s and rigid sequences of this fighting style and often competing in local tournaments. Although Garcia dedicated a lot of energy to succeed in Karate, He couldn’t see how those rigid movements could be applied in a proper struggle and grew disenchanted with his training. After 4 years he decided to stop training all together.

After one year away from martial arts, a friend invited him to a Judo class. Marcelo did not like grappling and had perceived ideas that in a fight a striker would overwhelm a grappler. He still made it to the Judo session, taught by a Judoka, Fabiano de Souza. Marcelo enjoyed the aggressiveness of the Judo game, and decided to give Martial Arts another go.

His love for Judo grew strong helped by some good tournament wins. Getting more familiar with his coach, Marcelo found that he was also a Jiu Jitsu enthusiast, training BJJ 3 times a week in a neighbouring city called Devinopolis. Eager to follow his master’s footsteps, Marcelinho asked him if he could also attend one of these Jiu Jitsu sessions to which Fabiano agreed, and so on the next opportunity Marcelo made it to his first class under Rickson Gracie black belt Iran Brasileiro accompanied by his Judo instructor de Souza.

Soon Marcelo started adding Jiu Jitsu classes to his regular training routine, making 3 trips every week to Iran Brasileiro’s academy. His first BJJ competition didn’t go as planned as he lost on the first match, but that didn’t put out his fire to compete again. He began buying BJJ magazines to learn new techniques, practicing them with his training partners.

At one point, he heard of a good Gracie Barra academy in Ribeirao Preto which was many miles away from his town, in the state of Sao Paulo. Marcelo took a trip down to R.P. and there he saw a much more evolved BJJ game, with guys making spider and half guard, techniques that Garcia had never seen before. He recognized that it would be hard for him to ever become a World Champion training in Devinopolis and started thinking of how he could move to a bigger town were he could train with a better team.

Before he had time to conjure his plan, Marcelo went to compete in a state tournament, there he met Paulo Rezende who invited him to come and train full time at his academy. Paulo Rezende (aka Paulao) had a much bigger team in Poco de Caldas and offered him free training and a place to sleep at the gym in exchange for Marcelo to do day-to-day chores (cleaning the mats, errands, etc). Marcelo agreed, and after getting the nod from his parents he travelled the necessary 10 hours by bus ride to Paulao’s academy, he was 16 at the time.

In this new academy and under Paulao’s supervision Marcelo started training 4x a day, with his first training session at 6am, the second at 8am, the third at 3pm and finally the last one ay 7pm. During this period, Marcelo started working on his guard. Being a former Judoka, his top game was his strength, but his guard needed desperately to improve, and so for months he played on his back getting trashed in the beginning, but managing to successfully ad this new weapon to his BJJ arsenal.

In one competition while he was still fighting in the Junior Division, his coach enlisted him in the adult absolute division, Marcelinho was very reluctant to accept such a tough challenge, but he agreed to be put on the list. Marcelo fought bravely in the tournament reaching the final against an adult fighter who weighed over 300 pounds. The rules were different from standard IBJJ rules, there were no points and no time limit. Garcia ended up winning the fight by choke after a gruelling 45 minute match. From that moment on Garcia started participating in every open weight category he could.

Always trying to compete at the highest level, Marcelinho traveled up and down Brazil, on one of these travels, in Rio de Janeiro, he was barred from entering a tournament because of a problem with the entrance fees. At one point, a girl that belonged to the organization helped him out and convinced the rest of the crew to allow Marcelo in the competition, and so they did. After he finished competing, Marcelo introduced himself to the girl who had helped him previously. Her name was Tatiana, and the two started dating shortly after… She would later become his wife.

With his intense training program, Marcelo started winning championships, first the State championships and later his first Mundials (World Championships) victory. After his first Mundial victory he realised all his potential and really started believing in his potential. His (now) girlfriend, Tatiana, convinced him that his career would benefit a lot from a move to a bigger team in Sao Paulo, and so after an invitation by Alliance’s Fernando Augusto “Terere” to be an assistant coach at his academy, he left to Sao Paulo one of the biggest Jiu Jitsu centres in the World.

Life was hard teaching at Terere and Leo Vieira’s place, the money was scarce and all he could afford was a place hours away from the gym, so when Fabio Gurgel offered him an assistant coach place at his gym in the Alliance Team’s Headquarters, he gladly accepted.

With this new partnership with Gurgel (who is one of the World’s top BJJ instructors) Garcia’s BJJ gave a huge step forward once again. It was also a period in which he started making a little bit more money allowing him to stabilize his finances. During this period, Marcelo picked up on training without the kimono for the first time, he was a Brown Belt then and had never trained or competed in nogi.

Always willing to compete as often as possible, when the Brazilian ADCC trials came up, Marcelo decided to sign up for the famous competition. He fought well and made it to the final, losing it by -1 point (guard pull) against Daniel Moraes. By ADCC rules, he would not make it to the final stage because he did not win the trials, but as Denis Hallman pulled out, he was called in at the last minute as a replacement. Being a huge underdog in the World’s most prestigious tournament he also ended in one of the toughest brackets in the competition, pairing up against Renzo Gracie and Vitor Ribeiro. He defeated both and won the final reaching the pinnacle of Submission Wrestling, with the competition’s earnings Marcelinho offered his father a 2000 Ford Focus to replace his ancient 1984 Volkswagen.

His successful run at both BJJ and Submission Wrestling continued as he won both the World Championships, Submission de Campos and ADCC once again. Having won every major title in submission grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Marcelinho engajed in a new challenge, trying his chance on a career as a fighter in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) joining the Florida MMA academy, American Top Team. Even though Garcia had set his eyes on this new venture, he was still an avid competitor on the major grappling tournaments and always under the Alliance banner.

In 2009 Marcelo opened an academy in New York, starting to distance himself from his MMA Career, dedicating full time to his new academy and his students. Having lost its spark for MMA, he stated openly in an interview on March 2010, that he would no longer compete in MMA, also announcing his decision to return to BJJ, which he did later that year, winning the World Championships once again.

On December 2011 Marcelo Garcia awarded his first two black belts to Josh Waitzkin and Alexander Meadows.

Marcelo Garcia’ Grappling Record

Marcelo Garcia Grappling Record

    24 (29%)
    2 (2%)
    55 (67%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (1%)


Mata leao
North south choke
Choke from back
Lapel Choke
Heel Hook
    7 (50%)
    1 (7%)
    6 (43%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Darce Choke
Inverted Katagatame

Marcelo Garcia Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
600Marcio CruzMarcio CruzLPts: 6x0ADCCAbsolute1/4 final2003
612Cafe DantasLPointsWorld Champ.Absolute1/4 final2003
644Fernando TerereFernando TerereLTriangleWorld Champ.U82kgFinal2003
695Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLPts: 3x2Best FightersAbsoluteSuperfight2004
699Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLPts: 6x0BrasileiroAbsoluteFinal2004
729Roger GracieRoger GracieLPts: 8x2World Champ.Absolute1/4 final2004
759Fernando TerereFernando TerereLPts: 4x0Japan OpenU82kgSuperfight2004
831Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLKimuraADCCAbsoluteSemi f.2005
972Roger GracieRoger GracieLChoke from backWorld Champ.AbsoluteSemi f.2006
1091Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleLDarce ChokeADCCAbsoluteFinal2007
1436Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLTriangleWorld Pro.AbsoluteSemi f.2009
1439Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLAdvWorld Pro.U76kgFinal2009
1481Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchLPts: 3x0ADCCU77kgFinal2009
1526Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLInverted KatagatameADCCAbsolute1/4 final2009
534Cafe DantasWPts: 2x2, AdvTeam NationalsO88kg1/4 final2003
536Marco AntonioWArmbarTeam NationalsO88kgFinal2003
555Kiuma KuniokuWMata leaoADCCU77kgRd 12003
559Renzo GracieRenzo GracieWPts: 9x0ADCCU77kg1/4 final2003
560Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWMata leaoADCCU77kgSemi f.2003
561Otto OlsenWMata leaoADCCU77kgFinal2003
595Mike Van ArsdaleWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteRd 12003
638Roberto FonsecaWPts: 7x0World Champ.U82kgRd 12003
640Bruno FernandesWPts: 6x0World Champ.U82kg1/4 final2003
642Marcelo BritoWArmbarWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2003
671Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPts: 11x0BB Challenge 3U82kgSuperfight2004
697Marcio CorletaMarcio CorletaWChokeBrasileiroAbsolute1/4 final2004
698Eric WanderleiWChokeBrasileiroAbsoluteSemi f.2004
705Felipe CranivataWPointsBrasileiroU82kgSemi f.2004
706Flávio SerafimWArmbarBrasileiroU82kgFinal2004
710Babalu SobralWPts: 6x0Sub. de CamposAbsoluteFinal2004
711Gabriel GonzagaWPts: 4x0Sub. de CamposAbsoluteSemi f.2004
712Marcos OliveiraWMata leaoSub. de CamposAbsolute1/4 final2004
713Thales LeitesWMata leaoSub. de CamposU87kgFinal2004
714Bruno BastosBruno BastosWMata leaoSub. de CamposU87kgSemi f.2004
715Leonardo NascimentoWArmbarSub. de CamposU87kg1/4 final2004
720Cassio WerneckCassio WerneckWPts: 9x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2004
721Flavio SerafimWChokeWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2004
775Chris BrennanWSubmissionADCCU77kgRd 12005
779Shinya AokiShinya AokiWMata leaoADCCU77kg1/4 final2005
782Leonardo SantosLeonardo SantosWPointsADCCU77kgSemi f.2005
784Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWWristlockADCCU77kgFinal2005
821Ricco RodriguezWHeel HookADCCAbsoluteRd 12005
829Diego SanchezWArmbarADCCAbsolute1/4 final2005
833Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroWMata leaoADCCAbsolute3/4 place2005
941Zorobadel M.WPointsWorld Champ.U82kgRd 12006
945Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPointsWorld Champ.U82kg1/4 final2006
947Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesWDQWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2006
948Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 2x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2006
965Thiago GaiaWSubmissionWorld Champ.AbsoluteRd 12006
969Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleWPts: 3x0World Champ.Absolute1/4 final2006
974Jake ShieldsJake ShieldsWGuillotinePSL: X-MissionAbsoluteSuperfight2006
985Cameron EarleWNorth south chokeLA Sub-XAbsoluteSuperfight2006
997Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarBrasileiroU82kgSemi f.2006
998Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 8x2BrasileiroU82kgFinal2006
1005Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWLapel ChokeBrasileiroAbsoluteRd 12006
1009Adriano CamolesiWArmbarBrasileiroAbsolute1/4 final2006
1010Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWChoke from backBrasileiroAbsoluteSemi f.2006
1012Demian MaiaDemian MaiaWPts: 2x0BrasileiroAbsoluteFinal2006
1021Gregor GracieGregor GracieWChokeGrapplers QuestAbsoluteSuperfight2007
1022Marcos AvellanWMata leaoGrapplers QuestAbsoluteSuperfight2007
1052Rodrigo TexieiraWArmbarPan AmericanU82kg1/4 final2007
1053Adriano SilvaAdriano SilvaWArmbarPan AmericanU82kgSemi f.2007
1054Edson DinizWChokePan AmericanU82kgFinal2007
1076Mario MirandaWNorth South chokeADCCAbsoluteRd 12007
1084Rolles GracieRolles GracieWArmbarADCCAbsolute1/4 final2007
1088A. CacarecoWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteSemi f.2007
1106George SotiropoulosWGuillotineADCCU77kgRd 12007
1108Kurt PellegrinoWMata leaoADCCU77kg1/4 final2007
1110Mike FowlerMike FowlerWGuillotineADCCU77kgSemi f.2007
1112Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWWristlockADCCU77kgFinal2007
1431Elmoutti AzedineWChokeWorld Pro.AbsoluteRd 12009
1432Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPointsWorld Pro.AbsoluteRd 22009
1434Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWChokeWorld Pro.Absolute1/4 final2009
1438Michel MaiaWMata leaoWorld Pro.U76kg1/4 final2009
1470Rodney EllisRodney EllisWGuillotineADCCU77kgRd 12009
1476Kron GracieKron GracieWGuillotineADCCU77kg1/4 finals2009
1479Keita NakamuraWGuillotineADCCU77kgSemi f.2009
1518Bruno BastosBruno BastosWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteRd 12009
1521Bruno BastosBruno BastosWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteRd 12009
1563Nik RubenWChokeWorld Champ.U82kgRd 12009
1567Tiago AlvesTiago AlvesWAdvWorld Champ.U82kg1/4 final2009
1569Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 6x0World Champ.U82kgSemi f.2009
1747Chico MendesChico MendesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.U82kgRounds2010
1749Bruno AlvesBruno AlvesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.U82kgRounds2010
1750Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 8x2World Champ.U82kg1/4 final2010
1754Kayron GracieKayron GracieWPts: 5x0World Champ.U82kgSemi f.2010
1755Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 2x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2010
1962UnknownWPts: 5x0World Champ.U82kgRounds2011
1977Vitor OliveiraVitor OliveiraWSubmissionWorld Champ.U82kgRounds2011
2038Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWPts: 3x0World Champ.U82kg1/4 Final2011
2063Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2011
2074Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 2x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2011
2118Davis HeartWGuillotineADCCU77kgRd 12011
2154Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWGuillotineADCCU77kg1/4 Finals2011
2172Kron GracieKron GracieWPts: 2x0ADCCU77kgSemi f.2011
2186Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWTriangleADCCU77kgFinal2011

Marcelo Garcia Highlight

Marcelo Garcia vs Andre Galvao

Marcelo Garcia vs Renzo Gracie

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


  • Robert says:

    Amazing bio!

  • Iran Brasileiro says:

    Valeu guerreiro

  • maddie says:

    wow what an amazing person! i love him

  • GUILHERME says:

    tudo isso foi mt parte do grande mestre PAULAO REZENDE!!!!!!!!!SEMPRE LEMBREM DISSO!!

  • The unfinisher says:

    I' ve switched to MG in NYc since it opened in 11/2009, its home & MG the world champion many times over, is as sweet & humble as can be. He teaches every day, has an awesome sense of humor and for the greatest of the great, he makes you feel like your special. He's as unique an individual as he is a gifted athlete. His school & students are a reflection of his demeanor. Any guest who visits, & there are plenty always feel that which ever school they will return to, it cannot match the wonderful experience of being at MG academy. It's nothing short of a second home. Rigorous training, great partners, 1 big welcoming competitive family. Long after class is done dozens of us are lingering on the mat talking, joking, practicing, no one ever wants to leave the place. That's how it is. He has created a utopia in the heart of NYC.

  • Thiago says:

    Marcelo's win over Andre Galvao on the 2006 Brazillian Nationals Middleweight final was a 6-2 points victory.

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