The champion is back. Roger Gracie returned to Jiu-Jitsu competitions this Sunday at Gracie Pro, in Rio de Janeiro, for a final statement on his condition as an athlete. At 35 years old, the 10X black belt world champion faced the current king Marcus Buchecha, also a 10X world champion, in a rematch of their 2012 match that ended in a draw.
This time, under IBJJF rules in a 15-minutes time frame, Roger rekindled the Jiu-Jitsu community collective memory of what he is capable of. In just under seven minutes, he worked his way to Buchecha’s back after pulling guard and setting up a sweep. With the hooks in place, Roger controlled Buchecha’s collar and sank the choke for the tap. A performance for the ages and probably the final one for the Gracie.
After the match, still on the mat, he revealed that he is done. This was his final appearance as a Jiu-Jitsu competitor. What a career it was. In 15 years competing as a black belt, Roger reached a stage no other athlete has achieved. Roger is the only athlete to have won both his weight class and the open class at the IBJJF Worlds and the ADCC by finishing all of his opponents. He did that at the 2005 ADCC and the 2009 Worlds.