Marcelo Garcia and Sergio Moraes' Gentleman's Agreement

Sergio Moraes Marcelo Garcia jiu-jitsu
Sergio Moraes and Marcelo Garcia decide the winner of the middleweight division via rochambeau. Photo courtesy Stephen Hall.

It’s been in the jiu-jitsu news often recently: the controversial gentleman’s agreement, where two Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors who train together are the last remaining athletes in a division at a tournament, and they decide the winner amongst themselves instead of competing. The practice makes sense if you are one of the two remaining athletes and you want to avoid the sweet of bringing home a new medal combined with the sour of it being at a close friend’s expense. However from the point of view of just about everyone else in the room, the gentelman’s agreement is unpopular because it robs the spectators the opportunity to watch the two best competitors in a division compete against each other.

The BJJ community is deeply divided on the topic. In a recent poll here on The FightWorks, 54% of respondents said they were in favor of gentleman’s agreements being permitted, and 46% were against gentleman’s agreements.

Many were wondering whether last weekend’s 2009 BJJ World Championship might be soured (from the spectators’ point of view) by gentleman’s agreements. For those who were concerned, the outcome was not so bad: in the black belt divisions of both genders, there was only one, which took place between Marcelo Garcia and Sergio Moraes, two Alliance athletes who closed out the hyper-competitive black belt middleweight division together.

So how did these two elite athletes decide who would bring home the gold medal? Would they use the traditional method of basing the decision on seniority, which still leaves the possibility of one competitor feeling shafted? The guys from Alliance eliminated the possibility of such resentment. As first spotted here and as shown in the photo above, the decision over who would win the gold and who would win the silver medal between Sergio Moraes and Marcelo Garcia was decided in the most neutral manner: by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. Whatever your feelings are on the gentleman’s agreement in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you have to enjoy the fun that Moraes and Garcia had with the situation.

Make sure you tune in to this coming Sunday’s episode of The FightWorks Podcast to hear Fabio Gurgel discuss the gentleman’s agreement between his Alliance competitors Sergio Moraes and Marcelo Garcia.

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