It happened 10 years ago.
It was the middleweight final of the 2003 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
On one side, the up-and-comer, Marcelo Garcia, pupil of Fabio Gurgel, who had just astonished the grappling world with an amazing performance at the 2003 ADCC in São Paulo months before.
On the other side, Fernando Tererê, one of the most charismatic Jiu-Jitsu competitors of all time. Fighting at home, Tererê had the support of all his friends from the Cantagalo community.
Tererê was aiming for his second world title as a black belt, after the first one in 2000 over Nino Schembri.
Marcelinho, on the other side, wanted to prove that he was also among the best with the gi, after the great showing at the ADCC.
The fight lasted almost eight minutes and it is fair to say that Tererê was able to impose his game plan.
As soon as it started, Garcia tried to pull guard, but a fast Tererê managed to avoid Marcelo’s legs and end on his side.
Garcia was able to avoid having the three points scored against him and recovered his guard quickly.
So, for the next five minutes, Tererê tried to pass and Marcelo to sweep.
In the end of those five minutes, Fernando was in side control, with a 3-0 lead.
The last two and a half minutes saw Marcelinho trying to recover his guard, which he was unnable to.
Tererê advanced to an almost back taking and then got in a good position for the triangle.
Once it was locked, Marcelinho didn’t have much time to fight against.
The pressure was on and the tap came fast.
A victory by submission in a match between two top level fighters is rare, but it happens now and then.
But a victory by submission over Marcelo Garcia in his weight category never happened again, with or without gi.
That’s how unique Tererê’s accomplishment was.
Since then, starting the year after, Marcelinho won five world championships (2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011) and has never been defeated in the middleweight division.
To win it all, he defeated fighters as tough as Cassio Werneck (2004), Andre Galvão (2006), Lucas leite (2009/2011), Kayron Gracie (2010), Claudio Calasans Jr. (2010), and Guto Campos (2011).
Here’s the video of the fight so you can see how Tererê did what no one else was able to repeat so far.
Here’s an exclusive photo gallery with the best moments of the match, by our amazing photographer Gustavo Aragão.
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