‘When I Fight, I Know I’m Carrying the Jiu-Jitsu Flag With Me’ – Marcus Almeida on His MMA Debut

Published 10/07/2021, 6:47 AM EDT


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is glad he was finally able to step into the mixed martial arts cage for the first time and realize a dream he’s had for so long.

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The 17-time BJJ world champion recently made his ONE Championship and professional MMA debut at ONE: Revolution on September 24th, and he was obviously happy with his performance.

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“I’m feeling great. I think it was a perfect night for me. I could use my submissions and my jiu-jitsu. I’m so happy right now. I don’t think about [whether I made a statement]. I came here to get the job done, and I did it, so I’m not really thinking of the future like that,” Buchecha said about his debut.

“I’m not saying [the fight] was easy, but I think the game plan worked really well.”

Buchecha submitted Anderson “Braddock” Silva in the first round with a north-south choke, a hold rarely seen in mixed martial arts competition, proving the kind of special grappling powers he brings to MMA.

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What’s next for Marcus Almeida?

The 31-year-old is eager to follow up on his big win and make a sharp return to the Circle before the end of the year.

“5 December [ONE X] is a big one coming up, so I want to be a part of that. Let’s do it,” Buchecha said.

ONE X is ONE Championship’s highly anticipated 10th-anniversary show, with three major bouts already confirmed. Buchecha has no shortage of great heavyweight talent in ONE he could potentially face next.

Whether or not he gets booked for a fight again this year is entirely up to the promotion. But for Buchecha, it’s all about slowly getting better and building the confidence he needs to progress in his new career.

The Brazilian star can’t wait to be back at American Top Team in South Florida to resume training.

“All the guys [at American Top Team] helped me so much since day one when I got there. They have treated me as part of the team since day one,” Buchecha said.

“I was training every day with [legendary fighters], and I was feeling ready. Because if I can train with these guys and do well, I know I’m doing good. The confidence that the training gave to me was something unbelievable.”

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‘Buchecha’ on getting support from the BJJ community

At 31 years of age, Buchecha has a very small window with a limited amount of time to make a dent in the mixed martial arts world.

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But right now, he’s not thinking about that. He’s just happy to be able to represent the sport that he loves so much on the biggest stage of martial arts competition in ONE Championship.

“When I fight, I know I’m carrying the jiu-jitsu flag with me. And I carry our whole community. That’s why I have a lot of support from the BJJ community, so that’s really great for me,” Buchecha said.

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ONE Championship returns on Friday, October 15, with ONE: First Strike, featuring a battle for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship between Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan and Superbon. Also, the quarterfinal round of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix commences with eight of the best kickboxers in the world.

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Arman Khan

171 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC, and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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