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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 (30%)
    2 (2%)
    54 (67%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (1%)


Mata leao
Heel Hook
Lapel Choke
Choke from back
Wrist lock
North South choke
    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
6380Marcio CruzMarcio CruzLPts: 6x0ADCCAbsolute1/4 final2003
6401Cafe DantasLPointsWorld Champ.Absolute1/4 final2003
6457Fernando TerereFernando TerereLTriangleWorld Champ.U82kgFinal2003
6549Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLPts: 3x2Best FightersAbsoluteSuperfight2004
6552Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLPts: 6x0BrasileiroAbsoluteFinal2004
6596Roger GracieRoger GracieLPts: 8x2World Champ.Absolute1/4 final2004
6650Fernando TerereFernando TerereLPts: 4x0Japan OpenU82kgSuperfight2004
6746Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLKimuraADCCAbsoluteSemi f.2005
6990Roger GracieRoger GracieLChoke from backWorld Champ.AbsoluteSemi f.2006
7138Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleLDarce ChokeADCCAbsoluteFinal2007
7543Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLTriangleWorld Pro.AbsoluteSemi f.2009
7547Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLAdvWorld Pro.U76kgFinal2009
7608Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchLPts: 3x0ADCCU77kgFinal2009
7688Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLInverted KatagatameADCCAbsolute1/4 final2009
6265Cafe DantasWPts: 2x2, AdvTeam NationalsO88kg1/4 final2003
6268Marco AntonioWArmbarTeam NationalsO88kgFinal2003
6302Kiuma KuniokuWMata leaoADCCU77kgRd 12003
6309Renzo GracieRenzo GracieWPts: 9x0ADCCU77kg1/4 final2003
6311Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWMata leaoADCCU77kgSemi f.2003
6312Otto OlsenWMata leaoADCCU77kgFinal2003
6371Mike Van ArsdaleWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteRd 12003
6447Roberto FonsecaWPts: 7x0World Champ.U82kgRd 12003
6450Bruno FernandesWPts: 6x0World Champ.U82kg1/4 final2003
6454Marcelo BritoWArmbarWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2003
6506Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPts: 11x0BB Challenge 3U82kgSuperfight2004
6554Eric WanderleiWChokeBrasileiroAbsoluteSemi f.2004
6556Marcio CorletaMarcio CorletaWChokeBrasileiroAbsolute1/4 final2004
6558Flávio SerafimWArmbarBrasileiroU82kgFinal2004
6560Felipe CranivataWN/ABrasileiroU82kgSemi f.2004
6561Babalu SobralWPts: 6x0Sub. de CamposAbsoluteFinal2004
6563Gabriel GonzagaWPts: 4x0Sub. de CamposAbsoluteSemi f.2004
6565Marcos OliveiraWMata leaoSub. de CamposAbsolute1/4 final2004
6567Thales LeitesWMata leaoSub. de CamposU87kgFinal2004
6569Bruno BastosBruno BastosWMata leaoSub. de CamposU87kgSemi f.2004
6571Leonardo NascimentoWArmbarSub. de CamposU87kg1/4 final2004
6580Cassio WerneckCassio WerneckWPts: 9x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2004
6582Flavio SerafimWChokeWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2004
6667Chris BrennanWSubmissionADCCU77kgRd 12005
6673Shinya AokiShinya AokiWMata leaoADCCU77kg1/4 final2005
6677Leonardo SantosLeonardo SantosWPointsADCCU77kgSemi f.2005
6680Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWWristlockADCCU77kgFinal2005
6732Ricco RodriguezWHeel HookADCCAbsoluteRd 12005
6743Diego SanchezWArmbarADCCAbsolute1/4 final2005
6749Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroWMata leaoADCCAbsolute3/4 place2005
6940Zorobadel M.WPointsWorld Champ.U82kgRd 12006
6945Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPointsWorld Champ.U82kg1/4 final2006
6948Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesWDQWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2006
6949Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 2x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2006
6977Thiago GaiaWSubmissionWorld Champ.AbsoluteRd 12006
6984Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleWPts: 3x0World Champ.Absolute1/4 final2006
6993Jake ShieldsJake ShieldsWGuillotinePSL: X-MissionAbsoluteSuperfight2006
7011Cameron EarleWChokeLA Sub-XAbsoluteSuperfight2006
7028Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarBrasileiroU82kgSemi f.2006
7029Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 8x2BrasileiroU82kgFinal2006
7042Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWLapel ChokeBrasileiroAbsoluteRd 12006
7049Adriano CamolesiWArmbarBrasileiroAbsolute1/4 final2006
7051Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWChoke from backBrasileiroAbsoluteSemi f.2006
7054Demian MaiaDemian MaiaWPts: 2x0BrasileiroAbsoluteFinal2006
7061Gregor GracieGregor GracieWChokeGrapplers QuestAbsoluteSuperfight2007
7063Marcos AvellanWMata leaoGrapplers QuestAbsoluteSuperfight2007
7093Rodrigo TexieiraWArmbarPan AmericanU82kg1/4 final2007
7094Adriano SilvaAdriano SilvaWArmbarPan AmericanU82kgSemi f.2007
7096Edson DinizWChokePan AmericanU82kgFinal2007
7134Rolles GracieRolles GracieWArmbarADCCAbsolute1/4 final2007
7136A. CacarecoWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteSemi f.2007
7140Mario MirandaWChokeADCCAbsoluteRd 12007
7143George SotiropoulosWGuillotineADCCU77kgRd 12007
7147Kurt PellegrinoWMata leaoADCCU77kg1/4 final2007
7149Mike FowlerMike FowlerWGuillotineADCCU77kgSemi f.2007
7151Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWWrist lockADCCU77kgFinal2007
7536Elmoutti AzedineWChokeWorld Pro.AbsoluteRd 12009
7537Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPointsWorld Pro.AbsoluteRd 22009
7540Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWChokeWorld Pro.Absolute1/4 final2009
7546Michel MaiaWMata leaoWorld Pro.U76kg1/4 final2009
7588Rodney EllisRodney EllisWGuillotineADCCU77kgRd 12009
7599Kron GracieKron GracieWGuillotineADCCU77kg1/4 finals2009
7604Keita NakamuraWGuillotineADCCU77kgSemi f.2009
7675Bruno BastosBruno BastosWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteRd 12009
7680Bruno BastosBruno BastosWMata leaoADCCAbsoluteRd 12009
7758Nik RubenWChokeWorld Champ.U82kgRd 12009
7766Tiago AlvesTiago AlvesWAdvWorld Champ.U82kg1/4 final2009
7769Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 6x0World Champ.U82kgSemi f.2009
7991Bruno AlvesBruno AlvesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.U82kgRd 12010
7992Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 8x2World Champ.U82kg1/4 final2010
7997Kayron GracieKayron GracieWPts: 5x0World Champ.U82kgSemi f.2010
7999Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 2x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2010
8314UnknownWPts: 5x0World Champ.U82kgRounds2011
8342Vitor HenriqueVitor HenriqueWSubmissionWorld Champ.U82kgRounds2011
8437Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWPts: 3x0World Champ.U82kg1/4 Final2011
8482Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarWorld Champ.U82kgSemi f.2011
8502Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 2x0World Champ.U82kgFinal2011
8569Davis HeartWGuillotineADCCU77kgRd 12011
8631Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWGuillotineADCCU771/4 Finals2011
8672Kron GracieKron GracieWPts: 2x0ADCCU77Semi f.s2011
8710Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWTriangleADCCU77Final2011

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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