Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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 as a 4 stripe brown belt.

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. The Marcelo Garcia New York Academy has since become one of the top grappling schools in the world with a wide variety of world champions in all belt divisions.

Marcelo Garcia Grappling Record

    25 (29%)
    2 (2%)
    57 (66%)
    0 (0%)
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (1%)


North south choke
Heel Hook
Crucifix choke
Choke from back
    8 (50%)
    1 (6%)
    6 (38%)
    0 (0%)
    1 (6%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Darce Choke
Inverted Katagatame

Marcelo Garcia Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
689Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasLPts: 9x0BrasileiroABSSF2002
733Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesLPenADCC Trials77KGSF2003
803Marcio CruzMarcio CruzLPts: 6x0ADCCABS1/4F2003
823Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasLPointsWorld Champ.ABS1/4F2003
855Fernando TerereFernando TerereLTriangleWorld Champ.82KGF2003
1000Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLPts: 3x2Best FightersABSSPF2004
1013Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLPts: 6x0BrasileiroABSF2004
1048Roger GracieRoger GracieLPts: 8x2World Champ.ABS1/4F2004
1081Fernando TerereFernando TerereLPts: 4x0Japan Open82KGSPF2004
1198Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLKimuraADCCABSSF2005
1430Roger GracieRoger GracieLChoke from backWorld Champ.ABSSF2006
1625Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleLDarce ChokeADCCABSF2007
2065Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLTriangleWorld Pro.ABSSF2009
2076Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLAdvWorld Pro.76KGF2009
2189Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchLPts: 3x0ADCC77KGF2009
2236Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLInverted KatagatameADCCABS1/4F2009
722Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasWPts: 2x2, AdvTeam NationalsO88KG1/4F2003
724Marco AntonioWArmbarTeam NationalsO88KGF2003
729UnknownWPointsADCC Trials77KGR12003
731Aloisio BarrosWRNCADCC Trials77KG1/4F2003
756Kiuma KuniokuWRNCADCC77KGR12003
761Renzo GracieRenzo GracieWPts: 9x0ADCC77KG1/4F2003
762Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWRNCADCC77KGSF2003
763Otto OlsenWRNCADCC77KGF2003
798Mike Van ArsdaleWRNCADCCABSR12003
849Roberto FonsecaWPts: 7x0World Champ.82KGR12003
851Bruno FernandesBruno FernandesWPts: 6x0World Champ.82KG1/4F2003
853Marcelo BritoWArmbarWorld Champ.82KGSF2003
950Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPts: 11x0BB Challenge 382KGSPF2004
1011Marcio CorletaMarcio CorletaWChokeBrasileiroABS1/4F2004
1012Eric WanderleiWChokeBrasileiroABSSF2004
1019Felipe CranivataWPointsBrasileiro82KGSF2004
1020Flávio SerafimWArmbarBrasileiro82KGF2004
1024Babalu SobralWPts: 6x0Sub. de CamposABSF2004
1025Gabriel GonzagaWPts: 4x0Sub. de CamposABSSF2004
1026Marcos OliveiraWRNCSub. de CamposABS1/4F2004
1027Thales LeitesWRNCSub. de Campos87KGF2004
1028Bruno BastosBruno BastosWRNCSub. de Campos87KGSF2004
1029Leonardo NascimentoWArmbarSub. de Campos87KG1/4F2004
1036Flavio SerafimWChokeWorld Champ.82KGSF2004
1037Cassio WerneckCassio WerneckWPts: 9x0World Champ.82KGF2004
1096Rodrigo RiscadoWRNCSJ da BarraABSSPF2004
1140Chris BrennanWInjuryADCC77KGR12005
1145Shinya AokiShinya AokiWRNCADCC77KG1/4F2005
1148Leonardo SantosLeonardo SantosWPts: 0x0, PenADCC77KGSF2005
1150Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWWristlockADCC77KGF2005
1188Ricco RodriguezRicco RodriguezWHeel HookADCCABSR12005
1196Diego SanchezWArmbarADCCABS1/4F2005
1200Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroWRNCADCCABS3PLC2005
1387Zorobadel M.WPointsWorld Champ.82KGR12006
1391Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KG1/4F2006
1394Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesWDQWorld Champ.82KGSF2006
1395Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2006
1423T. GaiaWChokeWorld Champ.ABSR12006
1427Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleWPts: 3x0World Champ.ABS1/4F2006
1433Jake ShieldsJake ShieldsWGuillotinePSL: X-MissionABSSPF2006
1444Cameron EarleWNorth south chokeLA Sub-XABSSPF2006
1456Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarBrasileiro82KGSF2006
1457Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 8x2Brasileiro82KGF2006
1464Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWCrucifix chokeBrasileiroABSR12006
1468Adriano CamolesiWArmbarBrasileiroABS1/4F2006
1469Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWChoke from backBrasileiroABSSF2006
1471Demian MaiaDemian MaiaWPts: 2x0BrasileiroABSF2006
1539Marcos AvellanWRNCGrapplers QuestABSSF2007
1541Gregor GracieGregor GracieWNorth south chokeGrapplers QuestABSF2007
1570Rodrigo TexieiraWArmbarPan American82KG1/4F2007
1571Adriano SilvaAdriano SilvaWArmbarPan American82KGSF2007
1572Edson DinizWChokePan American82KGF2007
1610Mario MirandaWNorth South chokeADCCABSR12007
1618Rolles GracieRolles GracieWArmbarADCCABS1/4F2007
1622A. CacarecoWRNCADCCABSSF2007
1642George SotiropoulosWGuillotineADCC77KGR12007
1644Kurt PellegrinoWRNCADCC77KG1/4F2007
1646Mike FowlerMike FowlerWGuillotineADCC77KGSF2007
1648Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWNorth south chokeADCC77KGF2007
2060Elmoutti AzedineWChokeWorld Pro.ABSR12009
2061Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPointsWorld Pro.ABSR22009
2063Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWChokeWorld Pro.ABS1/4F2009
2075Michel MaiaWRNCWorld Pro.76KG1/4F2009
2176Rodney EllisRodney EllisWGuillotineADCC77KGR12009
2184Kron GracieKron GracieWGuillotineADCC77KG1/4F2009
2187Keita NakamuraWGuillotineADCC77KGSF2009
2228Bruno BastosBruno BastosWRNCADCCABSR12009
2231Bruno BastosBruno BastosWRNCADCCABSR12009
2272Nik RubenWChokeWorld Champ.82KGR12009
2276Tiago AlvesTiago AlvesWAdvWorld Champ.82KG1/4F2009
2278Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 6x0World Champ.82KGSF2009
2601Chico MendesChico MendesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.82KGRDS2010
2603Bruno AlvesBruno AlvesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.82KGRDS2010
2604Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 8x2World Champ.82KG1/4F2010
2608Kayron GracieKayron GracieWPts: 5x0World Champ.82KGSF2010
2609Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2010
2904UnknownWPts: 5x0World Champ.82KGRDS2011
2919Vitor OliveiraVitor OliveiraWSubmissionWorld Champ.82KGRDS2011
2980Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWPts: 3x0World Champ.82KG1/4F2011
3005Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarWorld Champ.82KGSF2011
3016Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2011
3068Davis HeartWGuillotineADCC77KGR12011
3104Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWGuillotineADCC77KG1/4F2011
3122Kron GracieKron GracieWPts: 2x0ADCC77KGSF2011
3136Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWTriangleADCC77KGF2011

Marcelo Garcia Highlight

Marcelo Garcia vs Andre Galvao

Marcelo Garcia vs Renzo Gracie

Digitsu Free BJJ Techniques

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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