Yesterday morning, Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Marcelo Garcia brought news of his tragic stomach cancer diagnosis to the grappling world. According to a post on his official Instagram, The 40-year-old father of two is set to start chemo for three months followed by surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to remove the tumor.
“Please keep me and my family on your prayers,” Garcia wrote to his 171 thousand followers. “Get your check ups, listen to your body, all I had was hiccups after eating and I’m glad I went to see a doctor.”
Since posting, high-profile athletes and figures in combat sports have offered condolences and support to Garcia and his family, with Rafael Lovato Jr, Andre Galvalo, Claudia Dovall, Demian Maia and Eddie Bravo representing just a handful.
“One more battle that you are going to win by submission and inspired the whole World as you ALWAYS DO! We love you Marcelinho!!!” wrote former IBJJF champion Bernardo Faria.
A member of the ADCC Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 2022, Garcia is the only champion to win his weight class in four different championships. After his storied wins in and out of the gi, including five IBJJF world titles from 2004 to 2011, Garcia turned to coaching in the later half of his career. His gym, Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu in NYC, has become one of the premiere jiu-jitsu schools in the world.