After Roger Gracie announced his retirement, the organizers of the IBJJF Pro League GP were left with quite the hole to fill: who would replace the ten-time BJJ world champion?
The answer came this Tuesday: a fighter who once dominated the absolute division at the Worlds. Marcio Cruz will step in to take on the top-tier field on Aug. 26, in Las Vegas.
It will be no easy mission, but that suits an athlete who has always enjoyed big challenges. Pé de Pano, who passed Roger’s guard to win the 2003 Worlds, recently defeated Gabriel Napão in a superfight in Abu Dhabi. In IBJJF competitions, he lost to Xande Ribeiro in 2015 and beat Rodrigo Comprido last year.
The rest of the field is: Marcus Buchecha (Checkmat), Leandro Lo (NS Brotherhood), André Galvão (Atos JJ), João Gabriel Rocha (Soul Fighters), Dimi Souza (Alliance), Ricardo Evangelista (GFTeam/Abu Dhabi) and Mahamed Aly (Lloyd Irvin).
Remember Pé de Pano vs. Ricardo Evangelista from 2014.