2003 Pan Ams
Black Belt Medium Heavyweight Semi-Final
Rener Gracie vs Roberto “Gordo” Correa
Rener Gracie (left at start) is the Grandson of Helio, Son of Rorian. As far as I can tell, this is his first and last IBJJF tournament at Black Belt. I saw him and his brother Ryron destroy everyone at brown belt the year before at the 2002 American Nationals (Helio was in attendance as a perfunctory witness to their last moments at that level. They were quickly promoted after that event). After this match, his competitive career went no further and he became the spokesperson for Gracie Jiu Jitsu and the co-leader of their academy in Torrence, California.
Roberto “Gordo” Correa was the 1996 World Champion at Middle Weight. He also was a four time Pan Ams Champion. But more importantly, Gordo is infamous for the development of the half guard. While the position was often obtained by accident, it was Gordo that explored and refined the position in the late 1980’s because of a knee injury. So all the current iterations of half guard that we see today began with Gordo’s innovations.
This match is a classic old school grinder defined by a basic closed guard submission attempt, and the defense to it. I watched this match from mat side and after I remember relaying the story to some of my training partners that they should have seen this guy defend the triangle for like 2 minutes… oh how I underestimated the time.
Enjoy Rener vs Gordo