This is a classic match in which Marcelo Garcia proves that comebacks don't only happen in football and basketball. They happen in Jiu-Jitsu too. Enjoy…

BJJ Notes from Marcelo Garcia vs Xande Ribeiro at ADCC

[0:49] Xande's Half Guard Pin. When trying to put Marcelo Garcia's back flat on the fat, Xande RIbeiro fights for (and gets) a crossface rather than fighting for the underhook. Go for the crossface before the underhook.

[1:00] Why Marcelo Garcia gets mounted. Marcelo Garcia attempts a bridge or “Upa” to either create space or roll Xande Ribeiro over. The problem with this is that the half guard figure four of the legs must release. This harkens to a dilemma that applies to every decision you make in every second of Jiu-Jitsu: Freedom of the Self or Control of the Other.

[1:00] Xande's Failed Mount Retention. This is a common situation from mount which I have lost many times. From the successes I have had, I can think of two solutions for Xande Ribeiro:

  1. Skydive Mount Retention. Xande Ribeiro could have fully committed to retention by using a skydive mount where his legs grapevine the opponent's legs and kills the hips
  2. Surprise Speed Armbar. Marcelo Garcia was desperately pushing away from mount extending his arms to frame. This would be an opportunity for Xande to jump his hips high and swivel to the armbar. This move takes practice and it is risky if your primary concern is to keep top position—aka not advisable for MMA

[1:00] Marcelo's Mount Escape. Similar to the elevator mount escape we learn (and never works) early on in Jiu-Jitsu, Marcelo Garcia demonstrates a realistic version of it  entry to Single Leg X. He simply slip one knee inside the mount. With any kind of guard recovery always think knees to chest, then notice which knee as a better shot at splitting the legs–that will be your SLX shin frame.

[1:10] Marcelo's Double Leg Sweep. This is a very common situation in Jiu Jitsu where you can catch the top opponent sleeping by simply driving in for a double leg. It's available any time you're sitting upright and your head level is below your opponent's head level. In this case it started from Single Leg X

[2:10] Marcelo's Sweep Prevention with a Head Post. This move took some acrobatics, but as a principle you can use your head as a 5th limb.

[2:20] Marcelo Breaks Open Closed Guard. When having trouble escaping closed guard against a bigger stronger opponent like Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia finds Xande's biceps and stands before posturing. Then he replaces his hand with his foot to pin Xande in place and break out of the guard. This is risky for Marcelo Garcia's base, but it's a risk he must take to break out of a larger man's closed guard

[3:12] Marcelo's Side Switch Fly Over Pass. The first 100 times I tried the fly over pass it felt very awkward and looked even stupider. The key to initiating a side switch and flyover is to first head shift to the other side before jumping your legs. Notice Marcelo Garcia shifts his head before he jumps his leg. As a rule of thumb your head should always be on the opposite side that you're passing.

[4:46] Marcelo's Rear Naked Choke. Again, freedom of self or control of other? In this application it translates to “position before submission?” or vice versa? It's the eternal negotiation within the game of Jiu-Jitsu. Here, as Xande Ribeiro scrambles to escape. Marcelo Garcia opts to slip in the choke without both back hooks secured while Xande is distracted by the progress of his own positional escape. In this case, Marcelo Garcia successfully achieves RNC finish (Submission before position).