A look inside Brazilian Top Team – Texas

“I don’t want you to just train at Brazilian Top Team, I want you to be a part of Brazilian Top Team”

Over the next few months I will try and provide an overall picture of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts gyms in San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

I will start with Brazilian Top Team – Texas, located in San Antonio. Brazilian Top Team – Texas is owned and operated by Professor Marcello Salazar Bergo. Marcello is a Third Degree Black Belt under Murilo Bustamante, a Fifth Degree Black Belt under the renowned Carlson Gracie. Professor Bustamante is also one of the founders of Brazilian Top Team.

It was not hard to research Marcello due to his volumes of videos on the web and titles in wrestling, grappling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  Sherdog  has Marcello listed as 8-1(6 victories by submission) as a professional MMA fighter.

I was able to sit down with Marcello after he finished teaching a BJJ class this past Tuesday night and here is what he had to stay;

Nomad: Please tell me about yourself?
Marcello: I was born in Rio de Janeiro on 27 March 1981. I am married to Larissa Gruenzner and have two children, Katarina Bergo and Olav Bergo.

Nomad: When did you first start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Marcello: I started training BJJ and Judo at the age of eight, under Coach Juarez Soares, he only teaches kids classes. I stopped training for a few years then when I was fifteen I began training again…

Nomad: What was it like to training under the legendary Carlson Gracie?
Marcello: Carlson made the difference! We never knew what to expect when he would taught. I didn’t have the opportunity to train with him longer because he moved to USA. I remember him as a legend and the father of everything, he made the best fighters of the history and each one who trained with him still carrying part of his BJJ Style. Once Carlson moved to the United States and I began training under Murilo Bustamante and Mario Sperry. My BJJ philosophy still the same: You don’t just train at Brazilian Top Team – Texas… You are a part of Brazilian Top Team – Texas!

Nomad: Please tell me about your training under the Murilo Bustamante?
Marcello: Bustamante is a great leader to the team. He made history competing MMA and BJJ, his career was very successful. It is a honor to have him as my professor and friend.

Nomad: When did you receive your Black belt?
Marcello: I received by Black belt at the age of 24.

Nomad: How did you get the nick name “Barbarian”?
Marcello: They started call me the “Barbarian” because I always had the same song to fight: The Anvil of Crom.

Nomad: When did you come to the United States?
Marcello: About five years ago I signed with the extinct IFL to fight in USA. Also, I was invited to come to the United States to teach two UFC fighters, Mike Pierce and Rick Story. During that time I began exploring the idea to stay and open a new BTT school in California with my friend Marcelo Perdomo, however; ended up with the opportunity to own BTT – Texas and I took it, this was largely due to Bill Bradley.

Nomad: Tell me about your gym?
Marcello: BTT – Texas is a 9000 square foot training facility. We have 2,500 square foot of mat space, full MMA cage, weight training area, striking area, and lockers and showers. My wife, Larissa; is the manager, Nancy Martinez is our conditioning trainer, Richard Smith is our striking coach, Sam Hudson is our kids BJJ instructor and I am the head BJJ instructor. Also, I have few high rank students who help me with the classes.

Nomad: Do you have any black belts under you?
Marcello: Yes, I have two. Bill Bradley, owner of BTT – Portland and Christofer Easter who serves in the United States Armed Forces.

Nomad: What is your teaching philosophy?
Marcello: My philosophy is teach the BJJ Life Style, that means use the sport to increase the life quality. I have been sharing my experiences with my students, on the mat I learned more about myself and how interact as a human being.

On the mat I learned: how be tough, have discipline, care about my nutrition, work as a team and help teammates… Doing BJJ I have been making friends since I was a little kid: poor friends, rich, famous, anonymous… On the mat we are all equal and with different talents!
The loyalty is the key of our success, the result of one is the result of all because we all carry the same flag. I am proud to be part of this team and I can see that all the guys feel the same.

Nomad: Who is mostly responsible for your success in BJJ and MMA?
Marcello: For sure, it’s the people who I have around me since I started. My professor taught me BJJ not only to fight in IBJJF tournaments, because the Federation didn’t exist when I started, it was before the first world championship. We trained BJJ without rules as a self-defense, what made BJJ popular after defeat other styles of fight. That old school style is effective to fight, since I started I have been competing with success in: BJJ, Grappling, Wrestling, Sambo, and MMA. Our philosophy is always be open to innovate, adapt and create techniques. I get ready to fight by training with my students.

Nomad: You recently had two other Black Belts, Eduardo Ramos and Vinicius Gahyva, visiting your school, please tell us about them.
Marcello: They’re two great guys, Eduardo is a heavyweight who likes to play guard, Vinicius is a lightweight who likes to play on the top. I know them for more than 10 years and it is good to have the opportunity to bring them over here to train with the team.
I always have some black belts who come to visit our school, usually friends of mine from Rio de Janeiro. Also, I have two black belts under me in BTT-Texas and sometimes the guys from BTT-Plano come from Dallas to do cross-training.

Nomad: Do you plan on competing again?
Marcello: Oh yeah. I plan to never stop competing!
I like to feel the adrenaline of the challenged… The pain of the loss and the glory of the victory working together to make me a better fighter.

Nomad: What’s is on the horizon for BTT – Texas?
Marcello: We are in the process of opening a new BTT in Corpus Christi. The gym will be ran by my long time friend, Robert Moreira, a Fifth Degree BJJ Black Belt.

Nomad: How would you describe BTT – Texas?
Marcello: I don’t want BTT – Texas to just be a BJJ gym where we only open the doors for our classes. I want us to be more like a club, where the doors are always open and if you want to train then you just come. I want this gym to be much like the gym I was raised up in while in Brazil. A place to come and meet friends, grow as a person, learn Jiu Jitsu, share stories, and have fun.

Nomad: Do you have any last words for our readers?
Marcello: BTT – Texas wants to provide an environment where people of any background, experience and fitness level can learn and train in mixed martial arts, the core being Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi and Nogi, Wrestling, Muay Thai and Boxing.

BTT – Texas will have five Amateur MMA fighters on the Alamo Showdown 4 card this August 31, 2012. Christopher Frazier, Caleb Murphree, and Edward Rodriguez will be making their MMA debut. Parker Reid will be looking for his fourth win and Jewel Snell will be fighting for the ABG Featherweight Title.

Professor Marcello Salazar Bergo can be contacted at:
BTT – Texas
5345 Glen Ridge Drive
San Antonio, TX. 78229
Phone: 210-248-9255
Email: brazilian.topteam.texas@gmail.com

The River City MMA BATTLE “LIVE” commentary by Tim Kennedy and Aaron Lanfranco

PRESS RELEASE – San Antonio, TX Nov. 3rd, 2010

The River City MMA BATTLE “LIVE” in San Antonio, Texas and streamed “LIVE” to the WORLD over the internet!

Time Kennedy Strikeforce

Kick Ass Productions, LLC. based in San Antonio, Texas in association with Online Studios and extremeTVnetwork is producing “The River City MMA BATTLE” at the Historic Municipal Auditorium with 24 Professional MMA Fighters and 12 exciting bouts inside of the cage. Tickets are available at TICKETMASTER or and start off at $10.00 each. Frank Vecchio one of the logistics coordinators for extremeTVnetwork commented that “The seating is fantastic here! If you’re in the balcony or on the floor the view is great!”

The Municipal Auditorium is being transformed into the ultimate MMA SHOWCASE with a special area opening up for ticket holders on fight day at 4:30 PM for the fans to shop and look around at vendors coming in. The Main doors open up at 6:30 PM and the Pro MMA Fight is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM. “We are bringing in additional lighting, atmosphere, and video cameras turning the Municipal Auditorium into a big studio as we stream LIVE to the WORLD and to our huge 20×40 foot video projector” says Richard Quiroga the host of the LIVE Web-Stream.

The River City MMA BATTLE will also be recorded as a pilot for a potential reality show being directed by Damon Callazo, Executive Producer for Smartmonkey Productions based in California. “Off The Mat will give full access behind the scenes to what it takes to produce a PRO MMA Event.”

Our MAIN EVENT will be Richard Odoms a local San Antonio Police Officer and Pro MMA Fighter vs. Darrill Schoonover former Ultimate Fighter are scheduled for 3 rounds (3x3x3.) Please note that the fight card is always subject to change and pending final approval from TXDLR.

We are dedicating the show in recognition of the Wounded Warrior Project, to raise awareness of their sacrifices and enduring spirit, this inspires trainers, students-athletes, coaches, fans and loyal supporters of Mixed Martial Arts. We have made special arrangements to bring in a large number of our United States Armed Forces that night in support for the Wounded Warrior Project. They will have special floor seating and be able to be recognized for their spirit and dedication on the path to recovery.

We will kick off The River City MMA BATTLE by presenting our Nations colors being presented by the United States Air Force Honor Guard followed by our National Anthem displayed on a huge 20×40 foot jumbo screen on the main stage starting at 7:30 PM CST. Our ring announcer will be Jeff Houston and our host for the live web-streaming Pay Per Live Show will be Richard Quiroga joined with Tim Kennedy and Aaron Lanfranco both PRO MMA Fighters giving you the play by play and insight to Mixed Martial Arts.

The River City MMA BATTLE timeline:

Friday – 1:00 PM CST /November 5, 2010

Event: Official Weigh-in for The River City MMA Battle (event is open to the public.) This will also be streamed “LIVE” at no charge at www.extremeTVnetwork.com.
Location: The Radius Center, 411 E. Martin, San Antonio, Texas 78205
Media Ops: Photographs/ VO/VSOT/VOB/MOS/ Fighter Interviews

Saturday – 4:30-7:00 PM CST /November 6, 2010

Event: MMA Showcase
Details: This is for the ticketed fans to shop for the latest MMA Gear, meet gyms and more
Location: Basement of Municipal Auditorium
Media Ops: Photographs, VO/VSOT/VOB/MOS

The River City MMA BATTLE “LIVE” in San Antonio, Texas and streamed “LIVE” to the WORLD over the internet!

Saturday – 6:30-7:30 PM CST /November 6, 2010

Event: Pre-Show for The River City MMA BATTLE “LIVE and ONLINE”
Details: Richard Quiroga our host along with Tim Kennedy and Aaron Lanfranco both PRO MMA Fighters will go over the fight card leading up to the Pay Per Live Show at 7:30 PM. The Pre-Show can be watch free online at www.extremeTVnetwork.com.
Location: Main Stage of the Municipal Auditorium
Media Ops: VO/VSOT

Saturday – 7:30 PM CST /November 6, 2010

Event: The River City MMA BATTLE
Details: Tickets still available through TICKETMASTER and at the Municipal Auditorium box office the day of and start off at $10.00 each. You can also watch the event via your computer or Smartphone through www.extremetvnetwork.com using our Pay Per Live system for $14.95.