Marcio ‘Pe De Pano”: “I Don’t Even Know What A Berimbolo Is.”



Photo: IBJJF

BJJ legend ‘Marcio Pe de Pano’ Cruz has been away from the BJJ spotlight for the past few years. He is currently a Professional MMA fighter. The 2 time absolute (2002/03) world champion saw his last fight at M-1 Global postponed because of an injury of his opponent Heavyweight Dmitry Zabolotny.

Invited to join the BJJ Pro League on Sunday in Long Beach, Calif., Pe de Pano did well, winning his two fights and earning $ 5,000. In this interview with Graciemag he talked about the victory:

GRACIEMAG: What was your biggest obstacle in IBJJF BJJ Pro League?

The difficult part is my day to day. Taking care of the academy, children, and making the time and  being able to train hard. Because nowadays it’s not easy, and I was also a long time without fighting in the kimono. You lose a bit of competition time.

You are a defender of the most basic techniques. You said that you hate the berimbolo. Did you try it in Long Beach now?

[Laughs] If I tried it, I wouldn’t even know because I do not know what that is.

What you have learned from fighting the giants of the new generation, such as GFTeam’s Ricardo Evangelista?

I learned what it takes to be with the physical part because the guys are very strong today. They train like professionals. It is not easy, which is more complicated at age 35 where there are always some pain or an old injury that keeps coming back. We feel the weight of age. But, when you do what you love it ends up okay in the end.

You won the final by armbar. Did you expect to be champion?

I just used the specialty of the house … I was only intending to have fun, no pressure to win. And it was nice to be back as a champion. I miss that. The lesson is, I always step up for my students. Do not let anyone tell you what you can or can not do if you want something, work to make it happen! You can do anything if you train hard.

Pe, what was the detail to the decisive armbar?

Man, that’s a technique I do since blue belt, and I have developed it over time. Since my first workout as white belt I felt I had a gift to have a dangerous guard. The important thing is you and how the teacher develop the skills that you have.

Pe de Pano, why are you still fighting, either MMA or Jiu-Jitsu?

Look, no one should strive to please anyone. Fight for love, not for money or fame. That’s what I learned from all these years. Today there are more fighters anxious to promote themselves on the internet than to compete. Here in America there are some guys who have never heard and never saw a fight, but the guy is a phenom on the internet …

Read full interview (in Portuguese)