Prof. Marcio Cruz
Marcio Ribeiro da Cruz (born April 24, 1978 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and mixed martial artist. In Jiu-Jitsu, he is a 5th degree black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. and is a six-time IBJJF Mundials World Champion, five-time IBJJF Brazilian Nationals Champion, eight-time IBJJF Pan-American Champion , 2003 ADCC World Champion, two-time Abu Dhabi World Jiu Jitsu Legends Champion and UFC Veteran Fighter His nickname “Pé de Pano” was given to him by his friends at the Gracie Barra academy in Rio and it is the Portuguese version of the name of Woody Woodpecker’s horse, Sugar Foot. He competed in the UFC and also had a one fight stint as an alternate for the New York Pitbull’s of the International Fight League.
Championships and achievements
Cruz is a six-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, five-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu National Champion, eight-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American Champion and the 2003 ADCC World Champion, He is undefeated at the Abu Dhabi World Jiu Jitsu Legends, he won the Championship two years in a row.(2016 and2017 ,Prof. Márcio Cruz won the Black Belt Absolute Division twice, being awarded two unique Champion Ring in a 2018 IBJJF Celebration. People he has defeated include: Ricco Rodriguez, Mike Van Arsdale, Roger Gracie, Gabriel Gonzaga, Paulo Filho, Fabrício Werdum, Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Saulo Ribeiro, Fernando Augusto, Jeff Monson, and Fernando “Margarida” Pontes. Since he started his mixed martial arts career, he has been training MMA with Roberto “Gordo” Correa and he fights under the Marcio Cruz BJJ team and Ring Team. His Favorite Technique is Triangle Choke
Mixed Martial Arts Career
As a professional MMA fighter, Cruz has fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, defeating former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir by TKO at UFC 57. He also holds a win over Keigo Kunihara at UFC 55. He lost a split decision to Jeff Monson, whom he had previously defeated twice in grappling tournaments, at UFC 59.
On June 2007 in the IFL he defeated Rafael Feijao by disqualification when Feijao used an illegal kick 1:18 before the end of the 3rd and final round. In June 2008 Cruz defeated Mu Bae Choi at Sengoku 3 via submission (triangle armbar). In April 2009 he defeated UFC veteran Dan Christison by unanimous decision.
On August 22, 2009, he beat Tom Sauer via TKO in the second round. With this victory he won the World Fighting Organization Heavyweight Championship. He successfully defended his belt by submitting Dave Yost with a Rear Naked Choke in the first round on April 3, 2010. Cruz was scheduled to make his Light heavyweight debut against fellow UFC veteran Gilbert Yvel on November 2, 2012 at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Yvel was later forced to pull out of the bout due to an injury. Cruz ended up facing Joe Yager at the event and won the fight by submission.
Marcio Cruz is a Christian, has been married since 2009 to Ariana Cruz and has 4 kids named, Renan, Matthew, Clara and Aaylah. Currently Marcio Cruz runs a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Tampa, Florida and a Second Location in Carrollwood, Florida.
Prof. Ariana Cruz
Ariana Cruz (Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under UFC vet, 2003 ADCC Champion, and multiple time IBJJF World and Pan Champion Marcio “Pe De Pano” Cruz. Mrs. Cruz began training jiu jitsu in 2009 and was the first female student at the Marcio Cruz BJJ academy when the academy first opened in Tampa. Prior to this Professor Ariana practiced Muay Thai and boxing for over a decade.
Coach Ariana is very passionate about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has involved herself in nearly every aspect of the sport. She loves teaching people the gentle art as well as entering tournaments to enhance the skills he has acquired on the mat.
AWARDS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Coach Ariana has vast knowledge, experience in Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and Fitness Class. She also has a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a graduate degree in physical conditioning. Coach Ariana’s experience and formal education has provided her a unique ability to help people of all ages achieve their fitness goals on and off of the mat.
• 1st Place World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2021
• 1st Place World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2020
• 1st Place American Nationals IBJJF Jiu Jitsu Championship 2020
• 2nd Place Pan American IBJJF Jiu Jitsu Championship 2020
• 3rd Place Pan American IBJJF Jiu Jitsu Championship Absolute Division 2020
• 1st Place IBJJF New York INTERNATIONAL OPEN IBJJF CHAMPIONSHIP 2019
• 1st Place IBJJF Miami INTERNATIONAL OPEN IBJJF CHAMPIONSHIP 2016
• 2nd Place World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2016
• 3rd Place MIAMI INTERNATIONAL OPEN IBJJF CHAMPIONSHIP 2011
• 3rd Place MIAMI INTERNATIONAL OPEN IBJJF CHAMPIONSHIP 2010
Prof. Saulo Cepeda
Professor Saulo is a black belt, training since 2016 under 5th Degree Black Belt, Marcio (Pe de Pano) Cruz. He began his Jiu Jitsu journey on 2001. He is also a US Army/Air Force Veteran, having served a combined 24 years in both military branches. Professor Saulo is the Program Director at the MCBJJ-Carrollwood location. After 3 years as dedicated a student, he was invited to attend the MCBJJ Instructor Qualification Course. He dedicated 1+ year as volunteer Assistant Coach for Fundamentals after graduation. Coach Saulo was handpicked by Prof. Marcio Cruz for his current coaching position in April of 2019. He is personally responsible for teaching the adults Fundamentals & Kids program. As a coach, Saulo is committed to provide the highest quality instruction in BJJ to the students at the Marcio Cruz BJJ Academy for years to come.
AWARDS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Saulo is a 2xGold medalist at the 2019 IBJJF Orlando Summer Open (Masters 5, Lightweight and Open weight categories), as well as 4x medalist in 2018-2019 IBJJF Open tournaments.
He has also received extensive training in Jiu Jitsu Self-Defense/Combative Programs, as well as training in Judo, Muay Thai Fundamentals, and Filipino Combat Arts.
Prof. Rodrigo Cruz
Prof. Renan Cruz
Renan Cruz is a jiu-jitsu black belt and a representative of the Marcio Cruz BJJ / R1ng teams in the sport’s global circuit. Renan is widely recognized as one of the top grapplers of his generation, a reputation earned while competing in the colored belt divisions of the sport where he conquered important medals on both the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) circuit and the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro Tour, including Pan American and World Pro gold medals as a brown belt. Renan is also the son of a jiu-jitsu legend and former 2x IBJJF open weight world champion Márcio Cruz, also known as Pé de Pano.
AWARDS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2021 brown)
1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2017** blue)
1st Place AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro (2021 brown)
1st Place AJP Grand Slam, ABD (2021 brown)
1st Place AJP Grand Slam, MIA (2020 / 2021 brown)
2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2019 purple)
2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2019 brown)
3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2018 purple, 2020 brown)
3rd Place IBJJF European Open (2018 purple, 2020 brown)
3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2019 purple, 2020** / 2021* brown)
Favorite Position/Technique: Traditional Guard-Player.