Marcio Cruz, also known by his nickname ”Pe de Pano” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior, being unanimously considered one of the best to have ever competed in the sport. Mario Cruz was one of the biggest stars of the Gracie Barra Academy in the early 2000’s, having conquered numerous titles being his biggest achievements the two open weight black belt world championships in 2002 and 2003. Pe de Pano fought also in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) having reached the pinnacle of the sport by competing in the UFC. Originally from Brazil, Marcio Cruz moved to the United States where made a career as a jiu jitsu instructor.
Marcio Cruz Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Márcio Ribeiro da Cruz
Nickname: The name Pé de Pano is what Sugarfoot, the character from the 80´s cartoon show “Woody the Woodpecker”, is called in Brazil. Márcio Cruz was called this due to his lanky and somewhat clumsy nature, specially as a teenager.
Main Achievements (BJJ/Grappling):
- ADCC Champion (2003)
- 6x World Champion (1999 purple, 2000 weight & absolute brown, 2002 weight & absolute, 2003 absolute)
- 6x Pan American Champion (1999 weigh & absolute blue, 2003 weight & absolute, 2005 weight & absolute)
- 4x Brazilian Champion (1998 blue, 2000 weight & absolute, 2001)
- 2x Brazilian National Silver Medallist (1999 brown, 2001 absolute)
- 4x World Bronze Medallist (1998 blue, 2001 weight & absolute, 2012)
Favorite Technique: Triangle.
Weight Division: Super-heavy Weight
Team/Association: Gracie Elite Team (Formerly Gracie Barra)
Marcio Cruz “Pe de Pano” Biography
Marcio Cruz was born on the 24th of April, 1978 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started training Martial Arts at the age of 12, with a short run at Karate in a dojo close to were he lived. Pe de Pano lived part of his early teenage years at his grandfathers house, a time when he was introduced to Jiu Jitsu by a friend. Although he loved the sport straight away, there was no jiu jitsu academy were he lived, as such he joined a Judo club while he couldn’t find a BJJ academy nearby.
It was in 1996, when Marcio was 17, that jiu jitsu became a part of Marcio Cruz’ life. In Brazil if you want to become a professional jiu jitsu competitor (which Pe de Pano wanted with all his heart) 17 is an old age to start off your career as a white belt, however, Marcio had his goals set and he trained harder then anyone else at the gym, putting all his spare time on the mats.
All that work combined with the raw talent running through Marcio’s veins, helped him achieve success very fast winning his first major title, the Pan American Championship in 1999 as a blue belt, followed by a World Championship in the same year this time in the Purple Belt Division. His amazing run didn’t stop here, and Pe de Pano went on to win the Brazilian National Championship as a Brown Belt in the end of that year, making this path to black belt one of the fastest ever recorded (Marcio Cruz received his black belt in 2001).
In 2001 Marcio Cruz won the World Championships at his weight and the absolute divisions, submitting everyone on his path, being given his black belt there and then by “Carlinhos” Gracie. On that same year Marcio won the Brazilian Nationals again in his weight and absolute divisions, this time as a black belt.
Marcio Cruz has never been known to be a man that keeps his thoughts to himself. Cocky and somewhat arrogant he is one of those fighters you either love or hate and his antics against Jeff Monson, Terere and many others are well documented and have been the subject of heated forum discussions throughout the internet. Although his attitude might have been questioned by some, no one can deny he is one of the most gifted fighters the BJJ world has ever produced. Even though he may not look like the stereotypical fighter with the cauliflower ears, broad back and tattoos, his deceiving physique and his guard is game have made him a true master of the art and a delight to watch by any BJJ lover.
Marcio Cruz @ the World Championship’s Finals
|2000||Super Pesado||Brown||Marcelo Caresto||Win|
Marcio Cruz @ the Pan Am’s Finals
|2005||Pesadissimo||Black||Alexandre Dantas “Café”||Win|
|2003||Pesadissimo||Black||Alexandre Dantas “Café”||Win|
Marcio Cruz @ the Brazilian National’s Finals
|2001||Pesadissimo||Black||Carlos Alberto dos Santos||Win|
|2000||Super Pesado||Black||Renato Ferro||Win|
|1999||Absolute||Brown||Maxwell Carvalho||Loss (team mate)|
|1998||Meio Pesado||Blue||Luis Duarte||Win|
Pe de Pano vs Terere (Brazilian Nationals 2001)
Pe de Pano vs Jerre Norton (Mayhem Submision Fighting 2009)
Pe de Pano vs Vitor Costa (European Open 2009)