While I participated in this event and watched most of the matches over the three days, it wasn’t until someone created a compilation DVD of the best matches from the 2002 Pan that I saw this. After I saw it I immediately started drilling this submission.
Alexandre Dantas was from Gracie Barra and does not have that much of a resume in the Gi as far as I could tell. He would move on to win the division after this match. He did have some success later in MMA.
Fabrico Werdum would have a much different career despite the result of this match. He would become the 2003 and 2004 Ultra Heavy World Champion, the 2007 and 2009 +99Kg ADCC champion, and the UFC Heavyweight Champion (and first person to ever beat Fedor Emelianenko in MMA via triangle).
The 2000 Pan was my first competition (Blue Belt medium heavy; first round loss). While my experience was brief, being in the arena, feeling the crowd, and watching all the matches certainly made an impression. When this match started the crowd became very quiet. Now, at the time, I had no idea who either of the players were. I realized much later what this match signified.
Margarida, on the left in the green and yellow belt, had a very short, but very successful career in BJJ. At the time of this match, I don’t know his affiliation, but at one point he would fight under the Brazilian Top Team banner. After this final, Margarida would be the 2000 silver medalist in the medium heavy and open weights at Mundials and then become the 2001 medium heavy and open weight world champion (more on that match in an upcoming post). After 2001, we don’t see much of him. Rumor has it that an injury suffered in some type of motor vehicle accident derailed his career.
Fabio Gurgel, aka “The General,” is the co-leader of the powerhouse team Alliance. Prior to this match, he was the 1996 and 1997 World Champion in Heavy weight (and also made the podium in 98 and 99) and would go on to repeat as world champion in 2000 and 2001. Also, search for his MMA match against Mark Kerr, you will not be disappointed.
Urban legend leading into this match was that The General had never been submitted in competition.