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

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BJJ Fanatics Instructionals

Marcelo Garcia

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Marcelo Garcia, commonly 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.

Marcelo 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:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Champion (2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2007)
  • 1st Place ADCC (2003, 2005, 2007, 2011)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2004, 2006**)

* Absolute
** Weight and Absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: Arm-drag, X-Guard, Butterfly Guard, Guillotine, and Mata Leao.

Weight Division: Peso Médio/Middleweight (82Kg-181lbs).

Team/Affiliation: Team Alliance

Marcelo Garcia Biography

Marcelo Garcia was born on January 17, 1983, in a small Brazilian town named Formiga (which means “Ant” in English) in the state of Minas Gerais.

Young Garcia realized he wanted to pursue Martial Arts while watching 1980s action blockbusters, movies such as The Karate Kid or older films like Enter the Dragon were amongst his favorites. 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 altogether.

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 neighboring 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 about how he could move to a bigger town where 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 6 am, the second at 8 am, the third at 3 pm and finally the last one ay 7 pm. 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 grueling 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 realized 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 centers 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 engaged 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 in 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.

In 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 Instructional

Marcelo Garcia Grappling Record

    25 (29%)
    2 (2%)
    55 (65%)
    0 (0%)
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (1%)


North south choke
Heel Hook
Crucifix choke
Choke from back
    9 (53%)
    1 (6%)
    6 (35%)
    0 (0%)
    1 (6%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Inverted Katagatame

Marcelo Garcia Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
709Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasLPts: 9x0BrasileiroABSSF2002
753Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesLPenADCC Trials77KGSF2003
822Marcio CruzMarcio CruzLPts: 6x0ADCCABS4F2003
842Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasLPointsWorld Champ.ABS4F2003
874Fernando TerereFernando TerereLTriangleWorld Champ.82KGF2003
1019Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLPts: 3x2Best FightersABSSPF2004
1032Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLPts: 6x0BrasileiroABSF2004
1067Roger GracieRoger GracieLPts: 8x2World Champ.ABS4F2004
1100Fernando TerereFernando TerereLPts: 4x0Japan Open82KGSPF2004
1136Cameron EarlLPts: 3x1Budo Challenge87KGSF2005
1232Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLKimuraADCCABSSF2005
1472Roger GracieRoger GracieLChoke from backWorld Champ.ABSSF2006
1669Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleLDarceADCCABSF2007
2129Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLTriangleWorld Pro.ABSSF2009
2140Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLAdvWorld Pro.76KGF2009
2257Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchLPts: 3x0ADCC77KGF2009
2303Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLInverted KatagatameADCCABS4F2009
742Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasWPts: 2x2, AdvTeam NationalsO88KG4F2003
744Marco AntonioWArmbarTeam NationalsO88KGF2003
749UnknownWPointsADCC Trials77KGR12003
751Aloisio BarrosWRNCADCC Trials77KG4F2003
776Kiuma KuniokuWRNCADCC77KGR12003
781Renzo GracieRenzo GracieWPts: 9x0ADCC77KG4F2003
782Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWRNCADCC77KGSF2003
783Otto OlsenWRNCADCC77KGF2003
817Mike Van ArsdaleWRNCADCCABSR12003
868Roberto FonsecaWPts: 7x0World Champ.82KGR12003
870Bruno FernandesBruno FernandesWPts: 6x0World Champ.82KG4F2003
872Marcelo BritoWArmbarWorld Champ.82KGSF2003
969Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPts: 11x0BB Challenge 382KGSPF2004
1030Marcio CorletaMarcio CorletaWChokeBrasileiroABS4F2004
1031Eric WanderleiWChokeBrasileiroABSSF2004
1038Felipe CranivataWPointsBrasileiro82KGSF2004
1039Flávio SerafimWArmbarBrasileiro82KGF2004
1043Babalu SobralWPts: 6x0Sub. de CamposABSF2004
1044Gabriel GonzagaGabriel GonzagaWPts: 4x0Sub. de CamposABSSF2004
1045Marcos OliveiraMarcos OliveiraWRNCSub. de CamposABS4F2004
1046Thales LeitesWRNCSub. de Campos87KGF2004
1047Bruno BastosBruno BastosWRNCSub. de Campos87KGSF2004
1048Leonardo NascimentoWArmbarSub. de Campos87KG4F2004
1055Flavio SerafimWChokeWorld Champ.82KGSF2004
1056Cassio WerneckCassio WerneckWPts: 9x0World Champ.82KGF2004
1115Rodrigo RiscadoWRNCSJ da BarraABSSPF2004
1174Chris BrennanWInjuryADCC77KGR12005
1179Shinya AokiShinya AokiWRNCADCC77KG4F2005
1182Leonardo SantosLeonardo SantosWPts: 0x0, PenADCC77KGSF2005
1184Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWWristlockADCC77KGF2005
1222Ricco RodriguezRicco RodriguezWHeel HookADCCABSR12005
1230Diego SanchezWArmbarADCCABS4F2005
1234Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroWRNCADCCABS3PLC2005
1429Zorobadel M.WPointsWorld Champ.82KGR12006
1433Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KG4F2006
1436Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesWDQWorld Champ.82KGSF2006
1437Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2006
1465T. GaiaWChokeWorld Champ.ABSR12006
1469Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleWPts: 3x0World Champ.ABS4F2006
1475Jake ShieldsJake ShieldsWGuillotinePSL: X-MissionABSSPF2006
1486Cameron EarleWNorth south chokeLA Sub-XABSSPF2006
1498Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarBrasileiro82KGSF2006
1499Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWPts: 8x2Brasileiro82KGF2006
1506Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWCrucifix chokeBrasileiroABSR12006
1510Adriano CamolesiWArmbarBrasileiroABS4F2006
1511Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoWChoke from backBrasileiroABSSF2006
1513Demian MaiaDemian MaiaWPts: 2x0BrasileiroABSF2006
1582Marcos AvellanWRNCGrapplers QuestABSSF2007
1584Gregor GracieGregor GracieWNorth south chokeGrapplers QuestABSF2007
1614Rodrigo TexieiraWArmbarPan American82KG4F2007
1615Adriano SilvaAdriano SilvaWArmbarPan American82KGSF2007
1616Edson DinizEdson DinizWChokePan American82KGF2007
1654Mario MirandaWNorth South chokeADCCABSR12007
1662Rolles GracieRolles GracieWArmbarADCCABS4F2007
1666A. CacarecoWRNCADCCABSSF2007
1686George SotiropoulosWGuillotineADCC77KGR12007
1688Kurt PellegrinoWRNCADCC77KG4F2007
1690Mike FowlerMike FowlerWGuillotineADCC77KGSF2007
1692Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWNorth south chokeADCC77KGF2007
2124Elmoutti AzedineWChokeWorld Pro.ABSR12009
2125Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWPointsWorld Pro.ABSR22009
2127Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWChokeWorld Pro.ABS4F2009
2139Michel MaiaWRNCWorld Pro.76KG4F2009
2244Rodney EllisRodney EllisWGuillotineADCC77KGR12009
2252Kron GracieKron GracieWGuillotineADCC77KG4F2009
2255Keita NakamuraWGuillotineADCC77KGSF2009
2298Bruno BastosBruno BastosWRNCADCCABSR12009
2339Nik RubenWChokeWorld Champ.82KGR12009
2343Tiago AlvesTiago AlvesWAdvWorld Champ.82KG4F2009
2345Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 6x0World Champ.82KGSF2009
2690Chico MendesChico MendesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.82KGRD2010
2692Bruno AlvesBruno AlvesWNorth South chokeWorld Champ.82KGRD2010
2693Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaWPts: 8x2World Champ.82KG4F2010
2697Kayron GracieKayron GracieWPts: 5x0World Champ.82KGSF2010
2698Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2010
3039UnknownWPts: 5x0World Champ.82KGRDS2011
3054Vitor OliveiraVitor OliveiraWSubmissionWorld Champ.82KGRDS2011
3115Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWPts: 3x0World Champ.82KG4F2011
3140Gustavo CamposGustavo CamposWArmbarWorld Champ.82KGSF2011
3151Lucas LeiteLucas LeiteWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2011
3228Davis HeartWGuillotineADCC77KGR12011
3264Victor EstimaVictor EstimaWGuillotineADCC77KG4F2011
3282Kron GracieKron GracieWPts: 2x0ADCC77KGSF2011
3296Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWTriangleADCC77KGF2011

Marcelo Garcia Highlight

Marcelo Garcia vs Andre Galvao

Marcelo Garcia vs Renzo Gracie

Bernardo Faria BJJ Foundations


  • 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.

  • Annie-Claude says:

    Awesome bio. Well done!

  • Chris says:

    Why hasn't he competed since 2011?

    • bjjheroes says:

      Hi Chris, Marcelo started focusing more on his school, his students and his online business around that time and found it hard to take the time to train for competitions.

  • Markron says:

    Marcelo and Kron never fought at the 2010 Worlds. Aside from that, this is truly amazing.

  • Gustavo Müller says:

    Is unbelivable the first instructor of Marcelo Garcia, Fabiano de Souza, is not in your database…, the name and the story of a great teacher and athlete in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    > Fabiano Souza is a black belt 5th degree, graduated from CBJJ / IBJJF / CBJJE / CBJJO / UAEJJF, black belt 3rd Dan Judo by CBJ / LMJ / FMJ, black Kruang 2nd level of Muay Thai by LMMT / FIAM-EC.

    > President of the Federation of Jiu-Jitsu Minas Gerais (FJJ-MG), and Águia Dourada Team (Golden Eagle), founded in 1958 by his father, Master Mozart Souza. One of the biggest of Minas Gerais state.

    > Formed by master Mozart Souza, red belt 9 Degree of Jiu-Jitsu (CBJJP) and 5th Dan Judo (one of judo’s precursors and Jiu-Jitsu in the Minas Gerais Midwest, student from Takeo Yano) and also by Leo Castello Branco, Rio de Janeiro, student from Fernando Pinduka (Carlson Gracie).

    > first teacher of Marcelinho Garcia phenomenon, where it began to emerge in regional and Brazilian championships.

    > It has an extensive curriculum, such as:

    1. Champion BH International Open IBJJF / CBJJ 2016 master 3 black belt

    2. 3rd place world CBJJE 2009

    3. Absolute European Champion IBJJF master black belt (2002) Portugal

    4. 2nd place World Championship 2002 CBJJO black belt

    5. 2nd place Brazilian championship CBJJO 2002 black belt

    6. 2 times Rio de Janeiro state champion CBJJO black belt

    7. 3 times champion Sao Paulo State FESP / CBJJE black belt

    8. 8 times Minaa Gerais State champion Judo black belt FMJ

    9. South American Champion of judo black belt

    > He trained with Paulão Rezende (Poços de Caldas), Reinaldo Ribeiro (Poços de Caldas), Iran Brasileiro (Divinopolis), Rodrigo Ranieri – Mike (Formiga city), among others.

    > Formed over 20 black belts, many champions and several national and world championships, and coordinates affiliate more than 30 cities in states like Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Federal District, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná.

    > Creator of the social project “Golden Eagle Way of Vitory”, coordinating more than 7 cities.

    > Precursor of judo in schools, with the project.

    > Marcelo Garcia donated more than 200 kimonos to the project.

    > The same Marcelo Garcia, even today, when it comes to Brazil, training in the gym that launched in Formiga city, Minas Gerais.

    > Currently chairs the FJJ-MG, promulgating the sport by the state, promoting various tournaments, graduation, seminars, refereeing courses and rules, etc.

    > No more, this is a small part of the story, rich in detail, images (photos, news, magazines, newspapers, interviews, videos, witnesses).

    Sure your appreciation, thank you very much for your attention.

  • Flip says:

    Hi i just saw a match on Youtube where Marcelo loses a decision to Cameron Earl (shitty rules IMO, he got several points for an attempted foot lock) Unless there is a reason not to add it, it should obviously be added for accuracy. Thanks.

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