The champion moved up a weight class to under-88kg in vying for his second title. With Pablo Popovitch out of the running, who will now be the heir to the under-77kg throne? Anyone scanning the list of the 16 names signed up in the division so far will automatically stop at number 11, which is followed by the two words that bring chills to the spines of the 15 others in the division: Marcelo Garcia (pictured above).
The three-time under-77kg champion of the ADCC – and five-time world middleweight champion of Jiu-Jitsu – is without a doubt the firm favorite. To back up such a statement, all one needs to do is remember how, with or without the gi, only three competitors have managed to beat Garcia in his weight division since the tryouts for the 2003 ADCC. They are, Fernando Tererê in the middleweight final of the 2003 World Championship, Daniel Moraes in the aforementioned qualifier, and Popovitch, who outdid him in the final of the last ADCC, in 2009 in Barcelona.
Not one of the three being there to face him in Nottingham next weekend can mean one of two things: Marcelo is a shoo-in because he almost never loses; or having lost to those three, he may lose again. It’s surely with latter assumption in mind that the rest of under-77kg division will be stepping into the contest area in England.
Now head to the GRACIEMAG at the ADCC blog to find out about the challengers gearing up to surprise the three-time champ.