It was in 2006 that their rivalry was born.
Today they hold five absolute black belt world titles betwen them, with three going to Roger Gracie and two to Alexandre Ribeiro.
But on that spring day in California the Gracie hadn’t yet made it and his career was marred by back-to-back losses to Ronaldo Jacaré, in 2004 and 2005. Now Xande was still just Saulo’s brother.
But 2006 would be the year things turned around, and it all started in Dominguez Hills.
Reporter Raphael Nogueira was on the scene and recounted all that transpired, on the pages of GRACIEMAG #111, only the second issue in the magazine’s new bilingual format.
The scrutiny the Ribeiro brothers carried out on Roger’s game served as a starting point for the cover of the magazine, titled “The secret to Roger,” where Gracie’s game was put under the microscope with his very own help.
Returning to the Pan, Saulo and Xande’s strategy worked well, but only in the superheavyweight division. In the absolute, Roger got the finish.
Head over to the GRACIEMAG at the Jiu-Jitsu Pan Blog and look back on the birth of one of the greatest rivalries in competition Jiu-Jitsu.