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BJJ Legend ‘Pe de Pano’ Accuses IBJJF of Referee Match Fixing & Corruption; Says He Has Proof

BJJ Legend ‘Pe de Pano’ Accuses IBJJF of Referee Match Fixing & Corruption; Says He Has Proof

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Marcio Cruz, also known as “Pe de Pano,” has accused the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) of fixing matches in their major tournaments. According to Cruz, these alleged manipulations are motivated by betting activities involving referees and other officials. “They are betting cash and then going in to referee,” Cruz claimed in his video. “Pedro [Arruda] also commented several times in this group how to make a deal.”

One of the most celebrated competitors in BJJ history, Cruz asserts that he possesses evidence in the form of screen shots, leaked messages and audio recordings. These recordings allegedly reveal IBJJF referees and coordinators discussing ways to improperly influence match outcomes by giving advantages or penalties to specific athletes.

Cruz accuses Pedro Arruda, the current head referee coordinator for IBJJF events, of favoring certain referees who would “take care of his interests.” He claims Arruda manipulates referee assignments to benefit his GF Team. The messages purportedly show Arruda advising a referee named Rogério on how to manufacture penalties against an opponent at the No-Gi World Championships.

“In the first 2 minutes you have to give an advantage, then you get an illegal grip…no one can say anything,” the messages state.

Despite the seriousness of these allegations, the IBJJF has not yet responded. Cruz has challenged the IBJJF to take action against Arruda and has threatened to reveal more evidence after the upcoming World Championships if Arruda continues to coordinate referees. “I want to see what IBJJF will do. So far nothing, everything is normal,” Cruz said. “I sincerely hope that when I come back here I congratulate the attitude of IBJJF, but from what I’ve seen it seems that nothing will change.”

Cruz, an eight-time world and Pan-Am champion from 2000-2005, believes most referees are aware of the betting scandals but have chosen to remain silent. “The office sees everything as a necessary cost to make a championship,” he claimed. Known for his fierce competition at black belt world championships, Cruz said he finally went public because he could no longer stay quiet about the “total absurd” corruption. “For me it’s absurd. I couldn’t even [stay silent] and the funniest thing is that no one is talking about this on the internet,” Cruz stated. “That’s why Jiu-Jitsu is going forward, everything is under the cloth.”

Expressing skepticism about the IBJJF’s response due to past experiences of reporting corruption, Cruz felt compelled to raise awareness about the betting schemes he claims are occurring. “I want to see what IBJJF will do. So far nothing, everything is normal,” Cruz reiterated. “I sincerely hope that when I come back here I congratulate the attitude of IBJJF, but from what I’ve seen it seems that nothing will change.”

Here is the video, change it to auto translate to English: