2005 ADCC Submission Fighting Championship
Absolute Division – First Round
Long Beach CA
Marcelo Garcia vs Ricco Rodriguez
We have already introduced Marcelo (and for those unfamiliar with his resume, go research him), so we will introduce his opponent: Ricco Rodriguez.
Ricco was an early adopter of BJJ and was one of the first Americans to travel to Brazil to participate in the Mundials when it was still held in Rio. In 1997, he was the blue belt absolute champion. But, the following year, he would win the +99kg division of the ADCC Submission Championships. By the early 2000’s he is fighting MMA and for a brief moment held the UFC Heavyweight belt after he defeated Randy Couture in 2002. After that, he had a few missteps in his career but continued to fight in a variety of lesser known promotions. He is still actively fighting today (primarily in Eastern Europe) and has over 80 MMA bouts to his credit.
At these ADCC championships in 2005, Marcelo had just finished winning his second straight gold medal at -77kg (by defeating my instructor) and had entered the Absolute Division. Ricco had made it to the second round of the +99kg losing to Gabriel Gonzaga. When the match was announced, as you will see, there is massive support for Marcelo given the size difference (and that everyone truly likes Marcelo).
This match is one that I often refer to as evidence of Marcelo’s true greatness. Watching this video, you will likely focus on the physical aspect of the match: the ebb and flow between the two, the controversial move in the middle and the eventual conclusion. You can also expect your heart rate to go up a little as you watch, its that good. But watch it again and pay particular attention to Marcelo’s facial expression. It hardly changes. You would expect signs of struggle or exertion if you are giving 70lbs or more to your opponent. To me, his world class composure and focus are the real moves of the match.
Enjoy Marcelo vs Ricco: