Marcelo’s abilities have certainly taken the sport to another level, but he is the ultimate ambassador for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu worldwide as well.
OntheMat.com is pleased to announce our choice of BJJ Gi Fighter of the Year 2006 goes to Marcelo Garcia.
The end of 2005 saw Marcelo sidelined with an injury and not really performing to the best of his abilities. However, Marcelo came roaring back in 2006 competing often with much success. It was actually difficult to decide on whether to give Marcelo the nod for his accomplishments with or without the gi, but we felt that in 2006 his accomplishments on the BJJ circuit were stronger and more numerous. To recap Marcelo Garcia’s year:
Brazilian National Championships: Defeats Demian Maia to win the Absolute Title (submitting Andre Galvao in the semifinals) and his own division.
Mundial 2006: Wins the Medio Crown after defeating new rival Andre Galvao 2-0 in the finals and fierce competitor Murilo Santana in the semi-finals.
Ground Control Championship: Marcelo submits two of the top Americans in the gi, Mike Fowler and Rafael Lovato Jr.
This is not to mention in his two headlining performances at the Professional Submission League (no gi) , he managed to submit his opponents Cameron Earle and Jake Shields.
As Marcelo normally competes in the Medio division (181-173 pounds, depending on when the weigh ins are), his absolute title is especially impressive.
However what sets Marcelo apart is demeanor and humility. As fearsome as Marcelo is on the mat he is as friendly off the mat and as proof pretty much every picture you will ever find of him show him smiling ear to ear. Marcelo’s abilities have certainly taken the sport to another level, but he is the ultimate ambassador for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu worldwide as well.
OTM BJJ Fighter of the Year 2003: Fredson Paixao
OTM BJJ Fighter of the Year 2004: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
OTM BJJ Fighter of the Year 2005: Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro
Last years OTM BJJ Fighter of the year (2005), Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro was also strongly considered for this award again, and this year captured the Mundial Absolute Title defeating new arch rival Roger Gracie. This was payback for Roger defeating Xande to capture the absolute title at the Pan Americans, which in turn was payback for Xande defeating Roger to win their weight division. The two have the most heated rivalry in combat sports this year (more on this later), and it seemed unfitting to give one the nod over the other right now.
Congratulations to Marcelo Garcia, the OTM Jiu Jitsu Gi Fighter of the Year for 2006!
More information on Marcelo Garcia:
This week we will also announce our choices for MMA Fighter, Submission GRappler and our year end recaps and awards! We also have a Reader's Choice, which you can participate in by visiting the OTM Forum here!