This is a guest post by KC BJJ, part of the Bloody Elbow grappling coverage team.
Last weekend, Marcelo Garcia competed at the 2011 IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championships and for the fifth time in his career, he walked away with a gold medal. To win the gold in any tournament like this is an impressive feat, but Marcelo did it without conceding a single point. He was the only competitor not to lose a single point to an opponent in the entire tournament. Let's take a look back at his impressive run to 2011 Gold.
Marcelo is a BJJ black belt under Fabio Gurgel. He competes for Team Alliance and competed in the -82.3kg (under 181 lbs) division of the tournament this year.
In the opening round of the finals, Marcelo handled Vitor Estima of Gracie Barra by a score of 3-0 to advance to the semis. In the semis, Garcia met Gustavo Campos of Atos JJ. Garcia would finish beautifully in this matchup with a crucifix armbar to advance to the finals.
The finals would see Marcelo Garcia paired against Lucas Leite of Checkmat BJJ. In the opening moments of the match, Garcia used a beautiful butterfly sweep to go up 2-0 early in the match. Marcelo gained top position after the sweep and ended up in Leites closed guard. From there, Garcia kept Leites at bay not allowing him to gain the deep half guard or sweep he was continuously looking for. Garcia would win gold by the score of 2-0.
But as I mentioned earlier, more impressive than the medal itself is that Garcia took on the world's best middleweights in a gi and never conceded a single point. If you're not familiar with the scoring system used in IBJJF events, here is the point system according to their website:
HOW TO LOCK THE SCOREBOARD
The score board have this points
- 4 points – mount, back grab
- 3 points – passing the guard
- 2 points – take downs, sweeps and knee on the belly
- -1, -2... - penalties
- 1, 2, 3... – advantages
This means that at no point in any of Garcia's matches was he mounted, did he let someone pass his guard, or ever allow his opponent to have a moment of advantage. This is not like Garcia went to the local BJJ gym in the middle of nowhere and beat every small town tough guy. He took on some of the world's top talent in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and not a single person could get an advantage on him in the eye's of the referee.
So maybe you're not a BJJ enthusiast and you're still not impressed. Let me give you a comparison. Imagine that in the NBA Finals this year, where the Dallas Mavericks are facing the Miami Heat, that Dallas won all four games. But they not only won four straight games, they never trailed by a single point in all four games. That's seems like an impossible feat. That is the level of dominance we are talking about here.
At just 28 years old, Garcia has one of the most impressive resumes in the jiu jitsu world. He is a Pan-Am gold medalist, a three time ADCC gold medalist, and now, a five time Mundial gold medalist. He holds BJJ victories over guys like Pablo Popovitch, Rolles Gracie, George Sotiropoulos, Jake Shields, and Demian Maia.
It seems a given that Garcia is included in any pound for pound best BJJ artist discussion, but the question is how high would you rank him? I'll leave that for you BE madmen to decide. Let us know where you put him in the comments section below!
You can check out Garcia's match against Lucas Leite for the gold medal below (HT LapelChoke.com):
On a side note, one of my favorite moments from the entire tournament had nothing to do with jiu jitsu at all. It was when Garcia gave his post fight interview and thanked Steven Seagal for teaching him all of his moves. Jiu Jitsu and Comedy. This guy has it all.