BJJ Black belt Marcio ‘Pe de Pano’ Cruz returns to compete in the BJJ Pro League event scheduled for San Diego this coming Saturday. The matches are very tight for this competitino, as the skill level of the fighters is extremely high. It makes it difficult to find that elusive underdog that can break through and deliver the victory. Enter Cruz, who at 35 years old has l9oads of experience in competition. Competing in the superheavyweight class is to his advantage, though he has competed in Mma At 205 lbs. The heavier weight classes have fighters that tend to use strength and technique rather than speed and explosiveness, so it is in these divisions that an older competitor might have a chance to grab a win.
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Cruz sits seeded third in a field of four when looking at the odds at BETDSI. He is at (+450), but does he have any value?
Cruz may best be remembered for his UFC stint, where he washed out after consecutive losses to Jeff Monson and Andre Arlovski, and he is 8-3 overall in MMA. His BJJ and grappling titles are a mile long, but most of the titles are roughly a decade ago. During those title runs, he was known for his high level of aggression, always attacking with aggressive JJ style. He won the coveted ADCC World Championships in 2003 in Brazil, and in MMA his signature win is a victory over Frank Mir.
More recently, Cruz made the drop to 205 lbs in MMA in 2012, and this might indicate that he is in shape and taking his career more seriously, which has been a concern with him. He has few competition years left, and as a professional fighter, he is limited in his opportunities unless he starts to string to gether some wins, so he enters this competition at a critical time where he is trying to revive his career.
In tournament favorites Ricardo Evangelista (+180) and Gstavo Dos Santos Pires (+120) he is facing younger competitors who have been purely grappling and not mixing in MMA training as well, so he has a tall order ahead of him. But maybe there is something left in this savvy fighter’s bag of tricks.