Jacare vs Roger Gracie II, 2004 World Jiu Jitsu Championships

jacare vs roger gracie IIJacare vs Roger Gracie II 2004 is widely regarded as one of the greatest BJJ matches in the history of BJJ competition. Ronaldo Jacare Souza and Roger Gracie are two of the most talented and accomplished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the world. These two fighters have developed a little bit of a rivalry through the years. Jacare vs Roger Gracie II is their second meeting with Roger Gracie having won their first match in the 2002 World Championships.

Jacare vs Roger Gracie II is the controversial match where Roger Gracie broke Jacare’s arm but Jacare continued and won the most prestigious trophy in BJJ.

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Ronaldo Souza came from a humble and tough background. In his teens, he found himself in a bit of trouble while living in Cariacica, Espirito Santo in the South Eastern part of Brazil. His mother moved him to live with his brother in the North Western part of Brazil in Manuas on the Amazon.

To be displaced at that age must have been tough, but it allowed him to meet his BJJ coach Henrique Machado. Ronald Souza soon became Machados protégé and adopted the nick name Jacare after the symbol of Machado’s gym Associacao Sensei de Lutas Esportivas (ASLE). The name also fit him because of his aggressive and explosive style on the mat. Ronaldo Souza received his black belt from Machado in July of 2003.

As a Gracie, Roger started his BJJ training at a very early age under his uncle Carlos Gracie Junior. It wasn’t until Roger was a teenager when training with his uncle Rilion Gracie that he realized he wanted to devote his life to being a BJJ practitioner. In 2000, Roger started competing as a blue belt. It was around this time that he moved to London to be with his father Mauricio Gomes. Roger was able to continue to BJJ training with his father as well as traveling back to Brazil. With a growing list of competition accomplishments, Roger received his black belt from his uncle Carlos Gracie Jr. in 2004.

Although Jacare competes in the 88 Kg division and Roger Gracie competes in the 99 Kg division, the meeting of the two was inevitable. The first match was during the 2002 BJJ World Championships in the Absolute division. Both fighters were known for their keenness for the submission. However Jacare proved to be the more explosive and dynamic fighter while Roger was more calm and calculating. In their first meeting, Roger won on points and thus began one of the most awesome rivalries in BJJ and setting the scene for Jacare vs Roger Gracie II at the 2004 Mundials.

In 2004, Jacare and Roger Gracie enrolled in the World Jiu Jitsu Championships again. By now, both fighters had earned their black belt. Jacare entered in the 88 Kg division and Roger Gracie entered in at 99 Kg. Roger Gracie won his division by submitting Rodrigo Comprido in the finals. Jacare however came in second losing to Braulio Estima. This would be Braulio’s first championship as a black belt. The Jacare vs Roger Gracie II match would happen in the Absolute division.

Jacare vs Roger Gracie II

Within the first minute of the match, Roger pulls guard on Jacare. Roger is aware of Jacare’s explosive take downs as well as the fact that Jacare has a black belt in Judo. To avoid the take down and to be in a more comfortable position, Roger pulls guard to go for a submission. As Roger has Jacare in a closed guard, he goes for a triangle. Jacare is able to get out and land in side-control. Roger, not wanting to surrender points, turtles. Jacare does an amazingly smooth transition to take Roger’s back earning 4 points.

Jacare is biding his time and looks for an opportunity to sink in a choke. Jacare demonstrates his explosive style by trying to inject his right leg, sink in hooks and secure Roger’s back. Jacare successfully does this on the third attempt. The two engage in some hand fighting while Roger also tries to unsuccessfully defend against the body triangle. Roger is only defending at this point but successfully turns the position into a leg lock attempt.

The fighters are separated and re-set in the centre of the mat. This is where the controversial part comes in that made this fight into a BJJ competition classic. The referee re-sets the fighters in the same position with Roger going for a leg lock. Jacare escapes the leg lock but finds himself back in Roger’s full guard. Roger is looking for Jacare’s left arm and makes no subtlety of going for a submission. Rogers legs are inching higher and higher indicating that he is going for an arm bar on Jacare’s left arm. He hits the arm bar, it’s deep but Jacare doesn’t tap. Can’t tell if Jacare escaped or Roger let go. Jacare would then tuck his hand into his belt and continue the remainder of the fight with one arm. Jacare spent the remainder of the fight avoiding Roger. Jacare would win the match by points.

Later on, Jacare would find out that the tendons in his elbow had been ruptured, his elbow dislocated and the muscle torn from the bone. Despite the devastating injury, Jacare had gained notoriety in the BJJ world and earned the Mundia Absolute division gold medal, the most prized trophy in competition BJJ. Jacare would also later reveal that it was because of this injury and receiving no medical or financial support from the IBJJF that drove his decision to transition to MMA.

Jacare vs Roger Gracie II full fight video