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

Marcio Cruz “Pe de Pano”

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.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Marcio Cruz

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

Year Weight Belt Oponent Result
2003 Absolute Black Roger Gracie Win
2002 Absolute Black Saulo Ribeiro Win
2002 Pesadissimo Black Luiz Guilherme Win
2000 Absolute Brown Eduardo Machado Win
2000 Super Pesado Brown Marcelo Caresto Win

Marcio Cruz @ the Pan Am’s Finals

Year Weight Belt Oponent Result
2005 Absolute Black Xande Ribeiro Win
2005 Pesadissimo Black Alexandre Dantas “Café” Win
2003 Absolute Black Fabricio Werdum Win
2003 Pesadissimo Black Alexandre Dantas “Café” Win
1999 Absolute Blue Wilson Borges Win
1999 Pesado Blue Leonardo Stancioli Win

Marcio Cruz @ the Brazilian National’s Finals

Year Weight Belt Oponent Result
2001 Absolute Black Terere Loss
2001 Pesadissimo Black Carlos Alberto dos Santos Win
2000 Absolute Black Leo Dalla 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)

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


  • Nightwing says:

    All I got to say Im proud to train under Pe-De-Pano For BJJ!!!

  • Dave quick says:

    Marcio is not only in the top three of all time, he is number 1 when it comes to instructing!

    I earned my Purple belt under him, and lets just say each lesson was a break thru!

  • JJParrilla says:

    You know life is funny there was a rivalry between the two but the respect was always there.It's just a shame that Terere chose a diffrent path.Master Cruz is far better in technical areas where Terere was just raw hunger from the favela. Talent is talent but hands down to Marcio Cruz on Style.

  • Nikolay says:

    Hey, Andre, Pe de Pano was born in 1978 not in 1984.

  • admin says:

    yep, you are right Nikolay. Dunno what happened there. Thanks for the head's up


  • dagoberto badilla m says:

    hola amigo me gustaria invitarlo a mi academia que estoy abriendo proximamente si tiene gusto de venir aqui lo recibimos con gusto gracias….

  • luis pena says:

    I live in tampa and i dont know who would be a better technical guy to study under marcio pe de pano cruz or robson moura please help ???????????????????

    • Alonso says:

      Marcio teaches every class. I've heard Robson teaches but not every class like marcio does. Marcio also rolls with us quite often and his instruction is top notch.

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