Marcio “Pé de Pano” Cruz was the best Jiu-Jitsu competitor in the world in 2002 and 2003, when he won the black belt absolute world championship title.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Pé de Pano (nicknamed after the Brazilian name of Woody Woodpecker’s horse) started training Jiu-Jitsu when he was only 11 years old.
The black belt came by in 2001, after conquering both his weight division and the absolute at the Worlds as a brown belt. Carlos Gracie Jr gave him the new belt.
One year later, Pé de Pano was ready to shine in the big arena again. As a black belt in 2002, he repeated his feat and won both his weight division (ultra-heavy) and the open class in the Worlds, now as a black belt. The absolute final was against another BJJ legend, Saulo Ribeiro.
One year later, Pé de Pano decided not to compete in his weight division, but went after his second gold in the absolute.
He got the medal he wanted, this time beating newcomer Roger Gracie in a final match between Gracie Barra teammates that saw no gentlemen’s agreement.
Among many other titles, the 2003 ADCC’s +99kg division gold and the 2005 Pan Jiu-Jitsu double gold (ultra-heavy and absolute) are Pe de Pano’s career highlights.
Known for his extremely dangerous guard game with deadly triangle chokes and armbars, Pé de Pano is for sure a real contender for the Super-heavy/Ultra-heavy division title in the 2013 BJJ Pro League, which takes place December 8.
Also known for his good spirit and sense of humor, Pé de Pano is the author of many unforgettable quotes, like this one:”“Jiu-Jitsu’s like riding a bicycle, once you learn it you never forget!” he said in 2010, when he decided to compete again in the adult division of the Worlds.
In 2012, he did it again and had a great running with Marcus Buchecha, 12 years younger.
The Check Mat star had a bit of a scare with Pe’s long legs.
So, don’t miss out and reserve December 8 to go to the Long Beach Walter Pyramid to watch Pé de Pano and many other talents at the 2013 BJJ Pro League.
Know more about the 2013 BJJ Pro League at bjjproleague.com.