As a child, I was diagnosed as autistic and my parents were told that I would not make it past a 3rd grade education. My parents did not accept that and took it upon themselves to educate me. Eventually they got through to me and was able to integrate with society and go to school.
Asthma was another problem for me as a child that I was able to overcome, but I struggled with obesity all the way into high school. I was shy, introverted, and socially awkward child who was addicted to video games.
In my sophomore year of high school, I followed my brother into wrestling at Killian High School. My coach, Tirso Valls, was a ruthless man that had no time for weakness. I owe him greatly for transforming me into the man I am to do.
After a successful wrestling career in high school, I got into NHB (No Holds Barred) after my brother. We trained with Master R.I. for about two years before beginning our own grappling club out of a Tae Kwon Do school, Avellan Grappling. It was a small group of 10 students that were hardcore – not afraid to take a beating. It was more of a fight club that a school 🙂
In 2001, my brother and I opened the Freestyle Fighting Academy (FFA). I was 19 and my brother was 20 years old at the time. We had no money, no capital, no business plan, and no master. We just had a dream – to be the best martial artists we can be. The beginning years were very rough, and we struggled through many hardships before we saw any return on our investments. There were many times that we thought about closing shop and quitting, but our will to succeed was too great.
Marcos had the great fortune of meeting Master Lloyd Irvin, who become a mentor to my brother. He imparted invaluable information on how to properly run a martial arts academy and almost overnight the FFA become a sensation. From 60 students to 100’s, the FFA grew to become the largest academy in South Florida. Our Miami headquarters has over 10,000 square feet of space and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I have had the great honor of competing all over the world and have battled the greatest champions in grappling. I hold victories over Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts Rafael Lovato Jr., Tarsis Humphries, Amaury Bitteti, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Rener Gracie, and Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro. I have been featured in Grappling Magazine multiple times and have been featured in the local news as well.
I am currently looking forward to continuing my competition career and achieving one of my dreams – to become the ADCC Submission World Champion and Absolute Champion. I also wish to continue to spread my techniques and philosophy through seminars, books, DVDs, and through the internet.
2000 KWA Sport Combat III Heavyweight Champion
2000 FFC Heavyweight Champion
2001 Rival Classic Heavyweight Champion
2001 Rival Classic II Heavyweight Champion
2002 FGA Submission Grappling Open II Heavyweight Champion
2002 Planet Submission 16-man Absolute Champion
2002 NAGA New England 10-man Superfight Champion
2003 NAGA World Light-Heavyweight Champion
2003 GQ Team USA Member – Cruiserweight
2003 NAGA All-American Superfight Champion
2003 NAGA Pro-Am Superfight Champion
2003 Finisher Cup Superfight Champion
2003 Grapplemania 4-man Superfight Champion
2003 GQ Pro Division World Champion
2003 Ultimate Submission Showdown – Silver Medalist
2004 Submission Wrestling Open ADCC Superfight Winner
2004 Grappler’s Quest West V Pro Middleweight Champion
2004 Grappler’s Quest Oxydol Challenge – Champion
2005 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Competitor
2006 AFC VIII MMA Bout – Winner
2007 BodogFight Season 4 MMA Bout – Winner
2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Competitor
2008 WEC Fighter
2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Bronze Medalist
2011 Grapplers Quest Florida Cruiserweight Champion
2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Competitor