Roger Gracie: King of the Fundamentals
This weekend in arguably the greatest BJJ matchup of the last decade and the one of the single most anticipated rematches in the history of the sport, Roger Gracie and Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida met on the mats in Rio. A more perfect stage could not have been set. Each heavyweight monster carry a resume with 10 IBJJF gold medals attached. Roger having won seven weight class titles and three absolute titles, while Almeida was even at five of each. The two had met previously on the Metamoris stage in 2012 in a twenty minute war that ultimately ended with the fans wanting more.
Metamoris: Gracie vs. Almeida I
Don't blink during this match as these super heavyweights go at it on the Metamoris stage.
Though the match ultimately ended in a draw, it did nothing but wet the appetites of the fans across the BJJ world. Fans and experts have watched and rewatched the match in the five years since, with many thinking Buchecha would have come out on top in a points based competition. With Roger's focus on MMA, it would take five years for the rematch to be set up and held in Rio.
Their rematch this weekend would start slow, but ultimately Roger put his deadly fundamental techniques to work and caught Almeida with a collar choke. In the video below, hear from Roger himself on how he was able to defeat one of the best active competitors today.
Gracie versus Almeida 2
Does this win over Buchecha solidify Roger Gracie as the greatest BJJ competitor in history? He has long-time been considered one of the best ever, having won the 10 IBJJF gold medals, with one of his greatest runs being the 2009 Mundials where Roger succeeded in doing something that was out of a Hollywood movie. At that year's world championships, Roger would beat nine straight opponents with the exact same move, the mounted collar choke. For many of us, this is one of the first few techniques we ever learn when we put on the gi for the first time. The list of competitors he defeated that weekend include Rafael Lovato, Claudio Calasans, Romula Barral, Bruno Bastos, Bernardo Faria, and Ricardo "Cyborg" Abreu among others. It's important to read that list twice at least. All of those world-class competitors, legends in their own right, were caught by the flawless execution of Roger's mounted collar choke.
Roger has not competed actively in BJJ for a number of years, having focused more on MMA. To step back onto the mats and beat a competitor at the top of his game and eight years his junior also, is an incredible feat. He once again proved that his game is one of the purest representations of fundamental jiu jitsu technique. With his simple gi choke of Marcus Almeida, he has without a doubt solidified his status as King of the Fundamentals.
After the match, Roger Gracie announced his retirement from competition, so only time will tell when or if we will see him again. For now we are left to watch and rewatch his legendary career.
The flawless technique of Roger Gracie was forged in the fires of the Gracie family training sessions. If you want to sharpen the fundamentals in your arsenal and make them unstoppable, then you need Gregor Gracie's 4 DVD set "High Level Fundamentals" available here.