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

Polaris Jiu Jitsu Event

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José Mario Sperry
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One of the main competitors in both Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, José Mário Sperry, also known as Zé Mário or Zé Maquina, was a big figure of the Pride Fc organization in Japan. Though he was awarded his black belt by the late Master Carlson Gracie, Sperry left the Carlson Gracie Academy at the turn of the century, to form and lead the Brazilian Top Team (BTT), a controversial move at the time that turned him into a persona non grata in his masters circle. BTT would become one of the most successful MMA gyms in the world for most of that decade an achievement highly influenced by Sperry’s presence.

Ze Mario Sperry Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Jose Mario Sperry

Nickname: He is often called “Zé” Mario, Zé is short for José in Portuguese. Sperry was also named “Zé Maquina” (Zé Machine) for his fighting skills.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ze Mario Sperry

Main Achievements:

  • World BJJ Champion (1996, 1997, 1998 @absolute)
  • ADCC World Champion (1998 weight and absolute)
  • ADCC Superfight Champion (1999, 2000, 2011)

Most Famous Fight (in BJJ) : Against “Gordo” (final of the Word Championship 1997), and his fight against Royler Gracie (in which he tapped the Gracie who had never been tapped before).

Favorite Technique/Position: Guard Pass and Clock Choke.

Weight Division (in BJJ): Super Pesado (100kg)

Team/Affiliation: Started w/ Carlson Gracie, changed to BTT (Brazilian Top Team).

Jose Mario Sperry Biography

Jose Mario Sperry was born on the 28th of September 1966, in Porto Alegre – Brazil, later moving to Rio de Janeiro. Like many other martial arts practitioners from his generation, Sperry’s first approach to grappling came through Judo, a sport he started with George Medhi. Zé Mario only started Jiu Jitsu when he was already a brown belt in the Japanese art of throwing. After this first approach to BJJ he became obsessed with the “gentle art”, making it his life style. This obsession led to a very fast rise to blue belt (one month) a belt received from the hands of Master Carlson Gracie the same person that would award him with the black belt years later. It is said that on his way to black belt, Sperry did not concede one single point or advantage in competitive Jiu Jitsu.

In George Medhi’s gym, many athletes prepared for the Olympics and Sperry trained with them every day, gaining alot of the physical attributes of an Olympic level athlete. Coming from a Military College, physical training was a big part of his day to day routine, having trained extensively in Water Polo, Volleyball, Football (soccer) and Hammer Throw.

Sperry also has a degree in Economy and worked as an economist for a short period. That came to a holt when he was offered a job as a BJJ instructor for an academy in Porto Alegre in 1993. His first No-Holds-Barred fight was in 1995 in Niteroi, Brazil in a show called “Duelo de Titas”, his opponent was a fighter by the name of Tyson.

Sperry became an amazing competitor in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Wrestling winning Gold at all the major tournaments in both sports, also venturing in “Vale-Tudo” the base of what Mixed Martial Arts became. Although he had raised the Carlson Gracie flag for most of his BJJ career, in 2000 Sperry together with Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Liborio and “Bebeo” Duarte decided to leave the famous team to form their own endeavor (Brazilian Top Team), a break up that was less then amicable, ending in the process the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team of that era.

One of the reasons behind this break up was the fact that Carlson Gracie had moved to the United States, and fighters like Sperry, Arona who competed in MMA and wanted to train with their master would have to travel to the US (all costs at the fighters own expense). Bustamante and Sperry got the idea of having coaches in Rio that could teach all aspects of the fight game  – Wrestling and Kickboxing coaches (leaving BJJ to them) to which Carlson disapproved as he wanted to supervise their training. There was also the commission that the gym took over the fighters purses which weighed heavily on the break up decision.

Sperry also became the manager of many important fighters such as the Nogueira Brothers (Rogerio and Rodrigo), Ricardo Arona and many others. in the late 2000’s Ze Mario Sperry retired from fighting and coaching, becoming an entrepreneur though keeping his links to Jiu Jitsu.

Mario Sperry Grappling Record

15 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    6 (40%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    1 (7%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    7 (47%)
  • BY DECISION
    1 (7%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

7 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Wristlock
29
2
#86e620
Armbar
14
1
#5AD3D1
Choke
14
1
#d1212a
Footlock
14
1
#fad11b
Cross choke
14
1
#f58822
Clock choke
14
1
7
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
5 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    3 (60%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    1 (20%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    0 (0%)
  • BY DECISION
    0 (0%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    1 (20%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

0 SUBMISSION LOSSES

Mario Sperry Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
216Roberto RoletaRoberto RoletaLPointsWorld Champ.100KG1/4F1998
269Leonardo LeiteLeonardo LeiteLPts: 4x0World Champ.100KGF1999
274Rodrigo CompridoRodrigo CompridoLAdvWorld Champ.ABSSF1999
447Mark KerrLPenADCCABSSPF2001
720Roger GracieRoger GracieLPts: 5x0ADCC99KGRD12003
60Francisco BuenoWWristlockAtlantico Sul100KGF1994
113Saulo RibeiroSaulo RibeiroWPointsWorld Champ.ABSRD21997
117Roberto CorreaRoberto CorreaWWristlockWorld Champ.ABS1/4F1997
152Muhammad SalehWPointsADCC99KGRD11998
154Larry ParkerWArmbarADCC99KG1/4F1998
155Renato VerissimoWChokeADCC99KGSF1998
156Ricardo AlvesWPts: 5x0ADCC99KGF1998
172Oleg TaktarovWPts: 4x0ADCCABS1/4F1998
173Simon SiasiWFootlockADCCABSSF1998
224UnknownWCross chokeWorld Champ.ABS1/4F1998
226Royler GracieRoyler GracieWClock chokeWorld Champ.ABSSF1998
227Roberto RoletaRoberto RoletaWAdvWorld Champ.ABSF1998
340Enson InoeWPointsADCCABSSPF1999
2737Renzo GracieRenzo GracieWPts: 2x0ADCCABSSPF2011
4128Fabio GurgelFabio GurgelWReferee DecisionADCCABSSPF2013
Ze Mario Sperry Highlight

Ze Mario Sperry vs. Royler Gracie

 

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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