A black belt since 1989, Fabio Gurgel was a three-time world champion and his fourth title was soon to come, that very year.
Moreover, he was already known as one of the best guard passers in history, a title he enjoys to this day.
He would compete in his first Pan.
In making it to the final, he beat Roberto Godói on points.
At the other end of the bracket was a kid with a little over one year as a black belt, but who had shown he had all the making of a Jiu-Jitsu star.
In 2000 he’d won the medium heavyweight and absolute classes, finishing off all five of his opponents.
To have his encounter with Gurgel, Fernando “Margarida” Pontes first signed up in the weight category above his and was sincere in explaining his motives: “I wanted to fight him.”
In Florida he choked out Adriano Maciel and Fábio Leopoldo.
And so they were face to face.
The GRACIEMAG at the Jiu-Jitsu Pan Blog you’ll find out this battle’s outcome.