Marcelo Garcia had an amazing run at ADCC 2007, submitting his first seven opponents before losing in the finals of the Absolute.
OTM is first with his thoughts on the event, his opponents, and his long awaited plans for MMA. Marcelo also demonstrates the will and determinations that make him a great champion and ambassador for Jiu Jitsu
Photo courtesy of Alicia Anthony. www.AliciaPhotos.com
Denis Martins: You submitted more fighters at this ADCC 2007 than in the others. Was this due to the experience you acquired?
Marcelo Garcia: Yes, I do. I trained strongly too, but my other participations on ADCC gave me the experience I needed. This is not only in submission, but in Jiu-Jitsu too, I realized people already knows a few moves I like to do like the arm-drags, the chokes and the “x” guard. But these same people can not think I train only that, I train everything and in the times that one of my main weapons do not work, the other ones are very well trained and I can use them.
DM: What did you think about the level of ADCC this year?
MG: If we look for the side that I submitted my all opponents, this was easier than the prior years. I still had not submitted all fights in my category, like I did this year. But before the event I heard that this year the competition would be harder than the other years, because the fighters were more trained. I had inside my head that this year the competition would be the highest level ever.
DM: Did your worrying about ADCC 2007 be the hardest event made you stronger to compete?
MG: This is part of the game too. I knew this year would not be easy and there were a few names that I did not want to lose to them. These factors motivated me to train and I had success on submitting in all my fights. Another good point was my training this year and my diet. They worked very well. I always had problems with weight before my fights, and this year I had a better diet than ever and I arrived to compete without any injury.
DM: Who are the guys who you did not want to lose?
MG: Andre Galvao, he won the Brazilian Trials and started saying that would beat me and that my time was coming. This motivated me to train more.
DM: What did you think about the semifinal of the absolute involving Galvao against Robert Drysdale?
MG: I did not watch any fight, I try to focus myself to compete and making the 8 fights of the both categories I fought. But I say this to the fans, which said the fight was not real. I think Galvao should fight and win, because if he wanted to fight me, he lost his chance at not coming to face me in the finals of absolute when he had the opportunity.
DM: The Brazilian fans who do not follow submission were sad when you lost at the absolute finals. How do you see that?
MG: This is what made me to train on the Monday after ADCC 2007. The trainings after the competitions were of an even higher level than before. This what you told I heard and this made me very happy. I heard that in other opportunities where I did not come across like the winner; this is a display that I am in the right way. I can not give up of my dream of becoming Mundial and ADCC champion in absolute category.
DM: What about the final match against Drysdale at the absolute?
MG: I would like to watch this fight once again to see what I did wrong. This is hard to talk something without a deep analysis. However I do not feel better for the defeat, I had the feeling of being a ADCC Absolute Champion, this was my will. This was not easy to take, because I had a tough road until the final match, if I lost in the absolute finals was why I gave my maximum and never had fear of losing. I already had beaten Drysdale twice (with and without gi), I was very confident. I do not take away his merits, he waited for the correct moment, I respect him. The only fighter I do not respect is Andre Galvao.
DM: Which one was the easiest fight of ADCC 2007?
MG: I do not know. I do not think I had easy fights, because I always go to fight extremely focused. I think in a tough match since I could be harmed until the end of each of my fights, it does not matter if it was quick or long.
DM: What did you think about ADCC 2007’s organization?
MG: I do not think it was like the other ones, I felt it. I do not know if the fans realized, but this was what I felt.
DM: When are you finally fighting MMA?
MG: I have invitation to nearly all events, this is very cool. I am seeing which one is going to respect my job, because actually I have a routine of seminars and BJJ classes. We talk a lot about this transition to MMA, but I will make my Jiu Jitsu inside MMA.
DM: Which category would you like to start MMA?
MG: I like UFC this way they do now, because they have a very good category for me, the under 77kgs or 170lbs, if you prefer. This is a category where I feel myself strong and with a lot of disposition, with an easy diet to take to reach this weight. But can change this for less or more weight when I gain experience on MMA.
DM: You said you are going to show your Jiu Jitsu in MMA. So how are your trainings going for the MMA?
MG: The only new thing on that are the gloves. Everything that I will show in a MMA ring/octagon is already in my mind. I am training on the feet too.
DM: How is adaptation for this new road (MMA)?
MG: This is good, the only think what is harming a little are the gloves. The grip is different with them and I do have minor problems on sinking my submissions. But if it harms me, it will harm my opponent too.
DM: Who are the best fighters into under 170lkbs category?
MG: We have a huge list of good names on this game, there a lot of tough fighters. But Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, George St. Pierre and Matt Serra are very strong.
DM: Did you already imagine yourself against one of them?
MG: I do my game plan for myself. I do not try to adapt myself to my opponent’s game. This will happen in MMA too, I always have a strategy inside my head. My strong weapon will be my Jiu Jitsu, and I see that a lot of these fighters mentioned by me forgot a little the Jiu Jitsu, they do not believe in that so much. I think when they realize that, it will be so late, because I already would have shown it to them.
DM: Would you like to leave a final message?
MG: I want to thank the fans. They make me to have a very strong tournament like ADCC and then in the Monday to go to the academy to train, even I am tired or not. I want to declare that it is not easy to lose an event like ADCC. I was fighting very well. But this will not take me down, and in the next events I will show the same style and will, the fans will see me fighting to submit and to conquer the championships.
I would like to thank my sponsors Keiko and FightFX, besides my conditioner Gilson and my coach Fábio Gurgel. And of course to thanks my wife, Tatiana Tognini.