Check the list of names that Marcelo Garcia has defeated during his grappling career. Chances are very high that a handful of names will jump out at you, as he is someone who claimed many victims in both BJJ and MMA. For an interesting look at Marcelo Garcia’s career on the mat take a look here!
One of his more noted grappling battles with an MMA star came in 2005 at the ADCC when he took on UFC star, Diego Sanchez.
Methodically Exploiting Your Oppositions Weakness
At the start of the match, Sanchez comes out guns blazing—which is typical if you have followed his MMA career at all. Being a little bit all over the place, it took his coaches yelling at Diego to slow it down, followed by a laugh that seems like “how many times do we tell him that” type of chuckle.
A big momentum swing occurred when Marcelo, ever the strategist, waited patiently for Sanchez to make a mistake. Despite the size difference, Garcia was able to explode to life and slam Sanchez right down onto the mat, drawing a nice reaction from the crowd in attendance.
This prompted a reset, and likely saved Sanchez the match for the time being, as it was a major momentum swing in favor of Marcelo.
Upon the reset, it seemed as if Sanchez was more than happy to hold onto Garcia, not allowing him the opportunity to advance his position. However, as it dragged out, it was clear that Marcelo wanted to grind Sanchez into the ground, and slowly deplete his energy.
Without having to do much, Garcia worked his top game in a fashion that allowed him to gain the positions he had desired, while also taking a clear toll on the energy levels of Diego Sanchez.
The match continued at this pace, and ended in a rather interesting way; Marcelo had locked on the armbar, and almost at the same exact time as the clock expired, Diego pleaded “Tap! Tap! Tap!” given Marcelo the victory.
Competing Against Unique Opponents
For those familiar with Diego Sanchez and his career, you know what he’s about: intensity. For someone like Marcelo Garcia, having to face a man who never goes zero to sixty, because he’s always at sixty can be difficult!
However, Garcia played his cards nicely, which in turned allowed him to control the match and do what he wanted with it. The turning point was early on during the Diego onslaught when Garcia scored the big takedown slam.
Every good grappler knows to be patient and wait for their opportunity to present itself, and when facing someone such as Sanchez, the chance to turn the tables will almost certainly happen.
Even with that in mind, Garcia was dealing with a drastic size differential that put him on the short end of the stick. Sanchez, a mainstay in the Mixed Martial Arts world, competes with some of the meanest guys on earth, so given his disposition and size advantage over Marcelo, some may have written Garcia off at first glance.
Yet, Marcelo proved that size and intensity isn’t the end all be all in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A good strategy along with the skills needed to execute your plan of attack is just as important as physical stature.