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”.
- 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 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 1980s blockbusters as a child, movies like 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 Grappling Record
- BY DQ
56 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
6 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES
Marcelo Garcia Fight History
|708||Alexandre DantasAlexandre Dantas||L||Pts: 9x0||Brasileiro||ABS||SF||2002|
|752||Daniel MoraesDaniel Moraes||L||Pen||ADCC Trials||77KG||SF||2003|
|821||Marcio CruzMarcio Cruz||L||Pts: 6x0||ADCC||ABS||4F||2003|
|841||Alexandre DantasAlexandre Dantas||L||Points||World Champ.||ABS||4F||2003|
|873||Fernando TerereFernando Terere||L||Triangle||World Champ.||82KG||F||2003|
|1018||Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo Souza||L||Pts: 3x2||Best Fighters||ABS||SPF||2004|
|1031||Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre Ribeiro||L||Pts: 6x0||Brasileiro||ABS||F||2004|
|1066||Roger GracieRoger Gracie||L||Pts: 8x2||World Champ.||ABS||4F||2004|
|1099||Fernando TerereFernando Terere||L||Pts: 4x0||Japan Open||82KG||SPF||2004|
|1135||Cameron Earl||L||Pts: 3x1||Budo Challenge||87KG||SF||2005|
|1231||Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo Souza||L||Kimura||ADCC||ABS||SF||2005|
|1471||Roger GracieRoger Gracie||L||Choke from back||World Champ.||ABS||SF||2006|
|1668||Robert DrysdaleRobert Drysdale||L||Darce||ADCC||ABS||F||2007|
|2124||Braulio EstimaBraulio Estima||L||Triangle||World Pro.||ABS||SF||2009|
|2135||Michael LanghiMichael Langhi||L||Adv||World Pro.||76KG||F||2009|
|2252||Pablo PopovitchPablo Popovitch||L||Pts: 3x0||ADCC||77KG||F||2009|
|2299||Braulio EstimaBraulio Estima||L||Inverted Katagatame||ADCC||ABS||4F||2009|
|741||Alexandre DantasAlexandre Dantas||W||Pts: 2x2, Adv||Team Nationals||O88KG||4F||2003|
|743||Marco Antonio||W||Armbar||Team Nationals||O88KG||F||2003|
|750||Aloisio Barros||W||RNC||ADCC Trials||77KG||4F||2003|
|780||Renzo GracieRenzo Gracie||W||Pts: 9x0||ADCC||77KG||4F||2003|
|781||Vitor ShaolinVitor Shaolin||W||RNC||ADCC||77KG||SF||2003|
|816||Mike Van Arsdale||W||RNC||ADCC||ABS||R1||2003|
|867||Roberto Fonseca||W||Pts: 7x0||World Champ.||82KG||R1||2003|
|869||Bruno FernandesBruno Fernandes||W||Pts: 6x0||World Champ.||82KG||4F||2003|
|871||Marcelo Brito||W||Armbar||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2003|
|968||Eduardo SantoroEduardo Santoro||W||Pts: 11x0||BB Challenge 3||82KG||SPF||2004|
|1029||Marcio CorletaMarcio Corleta||W||Choke||Brasileiro||ABS||4F||2004|
|1042||Babalu Sobral||W||Pts: 6x0||Sub. de Campos||ABS||F||2004|
|1043||Gabriel GonzagaGabriel Gonzaga||W||Pts: 4x0||Sub. de Campos||ABS||SF||2004|
|1044||Marcos OliveiraMarcos Oliveira||W||RNC||Sub. de Campos||ABS||4F||2004|
|1045||Thales Leites||W||RNC||Sub. de Campos||87KG||F||2004|
|1046||Bruno BastosBruno Bastos||W||RNC||Sub. de Campos||87KG||SF||2004|
|1047||Leonardo Nascimento||W||Armbar||Sub. de Campos||87KG||4F||2004|
|1054||Flavio Serafim||W||Choke||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2004|
|1055||Cassio WerneckCassio Werneck||W||Pts: 9x0||World Champ.||82KG||F||2004|
|1114||Rodrigo Riscado||W||RNC||SJ da Barra||ABS||SPF||2004|
|1178||Shinya AokiShinya Aoki||W||RNC||ADCC||77KG||4F||2005|
|1181||Leonardo SantosLeonardo Santos||W||Pts: 0x0, Pen||ADCC||77KG||SF||2005|
|1183||Pablo PopovitchPablo Popovitch||W||Wristlock||ADCC||77KG||F||2005|
|1221||Ricco RodriguezRicco Rodriguez||W||Heel Hook||ADCC||ABS||R1||2005|
|1233||Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre Ribeiro||W||RNC||ADCC||ABS||3PLC||2005|
|1428||Zorobadel M.||W||Points||World Champ.||82KG||R1||2006|
|1432||Murilo SantanaMurilo Santana||W||Pts: 2x0||World Champ.||82KG||4F||2006|
|1435||Daniel MoraesDaniel Moraes||W||DQ||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2006|
|1436||Andre GalvaoAndre Galvao||W||Pts: 2x0||World Champ.||82KG||F||2006|
|1464||T. Gaia||W||Choke||World Champ.||ABS||R1||2006|
|1468||Robert DrysdaleRobert Drysdale||W||Pts: 3x0||World Champ.||ABS||4F||2006|
|1474||Jake ShieldsJake Shields||W||Guillotine||PSL: X-Mission||ABS||SPF||2006|
|1485||Cameron Earle||W||North south choke||LA Sub-X||ABS||SPF||2006|
|1497||Gustavo CamposGustavo Campos||W||Armbar||Brasileiro||82KG||SF||2006|
|1498||Andre GalvaoAndre Galvao||W||Pts: 8x2||Brasileiro||82KG||F||2006|
|1505||Roberto AbreuRoberto Abreu||W||Crucifix choke||Brasileiro||ABS||R1||2006|
|1510||Andre GalvaoAndre Galvao||W||Choke from back||Brasileiro||ABS||SF||2006|
|1512||Demian MaiaDemian Maia||W||Pts: 2x0||Brasileiro||ABS||F||2006|
|1581||Marcos Avellan||W||RNC||Grapplers Quest||ABS||SF||2007|
|1583||Gregor GracieGregor Gracie||W||North south choke||Grapplers Quest||ABS||F||2007|
|1613||Rodrigo Texieira||W||Armbar||Pan American||82KG||4F||2007|
|1614||Adriano SilvaAdriano Silva||W||Armbar||Pan American||82KG||SF||2007|
|1615||Edson DinizEdson Diniz||W||Choke||Pan American||82KG||F||2007|
|1653||Mario Miranda||W||North South choke||ADCC||ABS||R1||2007|
|1661||Rolles GracieRolles Gracie||W||Armbar||ADCC||ABS||4F||2007|
|1689||Mike FowlerMike Fowler||W||Guillotine||ADCC||77KG||SF||2007|
|1691||Pablo PopovitchPablo Popovitch||W||North south choke||ADCC||77KG||F||2007|
|2119||Elmoutti Azedine||W||Choke||World Pro.||ABS||R1||2009|
|2120||Eduardo SantoroEduardo Santoro||W||Points||World Pro.||ABS||R2||2009|
|2122||Victor EstimaVictor Estima||W||Choke||World Pro.||ABS||4F||2009|
|2134||Michel Maia||W||RNC||World Pro.||76KG||4F||2009|
|2239||Rodney EllisRodney Ellis||W||Guillotine||ADCC||77KG||R1||2009|
|2247||Kron GracieKron Gracie||W||Guillotine||ADCC||77KG||4F||2009|
|2291||Bruno BastosBruno Bastos||W||RNC||ADCC||ABS||R1||2009|
|2294||Bruno BastosBruno Bastos||W||RNC||ADCC||ABS||R1||2009|
|2335||Nik Ruben||W||Choke||World Champ.||82KG||R1||2009|
|2339||Tiago AlvesTiago Alves||W||Adv||World Champ.||82KG||4F||2009|
|2341||Lucas LeiteLucas Leite||W||Pts: 6x0||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2009|
|2686||Chico MendesChico Mendes||W||North South choke||World Champ.||82KG||RD||2010|
|2688||Bruno AlvesBruno Alves||W||North South choke||World Champ.||82KG||RD||2010|
|2689||Murilo SantanaMurilo Santana||W||Pts: 8x2||World Champ.||82KG||4F||2010|
|2693||Kayron GracieKayron Gracie||W||Pts: 5x0||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2010|
|2694||Claudio CalasansClaudio Calasans||W||Pts: 2x0||World Champ.||82KG||F||2010|
|3035||Unknown||W||Pts: 5x0||World Champ.||82KG||RDS||2011|
|3050||Vitor OliveiraVitor Oliveira||W||Submission||World Champ.||82KG||RDS||2011|
|3111||Victor EstimaVictor Estima||W||Pts: 3x0||World Champ.||82KG||4F||2011|
|3136||Gustavo CamposGustavo Campos||W||Armbar||World Champ.||82KG||SF||2011|
|3147||Lucas LeiteLucas Leite||W||Pts: 2x0||World Champ.||82KG||F||2011|
|3260||Victor EstimaVictor Estima||W||Guillotine||ADCC||77KG||4F||2011|
|3278||Kron GracieKron Gracie||W||Pts: 2x0||ADCC||77KG||SF||2011|
|3292||Leonardo VieiraLeonardo Vieira||W||Triangle||ADCC||77KG||F||2011|
Marcelo Garcia Highlight
Marcelo Garcia vs Andre Galvao
Marcelo Garcia vs Renzo Gracie