Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida is a force to be reckoned with in the jiu-jitsu world. Buchecha has been recognized as one of the greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors of all time and is a multiple-time World jiu-jitsu and ADCC champion.
IBJJF Hall of Fame member, Buchecha has made a name for himself in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu scene with his incredible performances. However, in 2020, he went through with his transition to mixed martial arts. Today, he competes in the Heavyweight division of ONE Championship.
Buchecha last faced off against Kirill Grishenko at ONE on Prime Video 1. It didn’t take long for Buchecha to demonstrate his abilities in the MMA arena, as he won the bout early in the first round with a heel hook. His impressive victory earned him the Performance of the Night award.
Before his transition to MMA, Buchecha was a member of the American Kickboxing Academy, where he assisted several UFC champions, including Luke Rockhold, Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez, and Khabib Nurmagomedov in their camps.
What was it like training with Khabib in 2015?
“When I went there, I don’t even remember if any of them were already champions. I was in the heavyweight group. Khabib was, that Russian is tough, he wasn’t even Khabib yet, he was a guy that everyone said he had potential.”
“There were a lot of guys that I already knew, but Khabib himself, I don’t even remember having grappled with him. But it was like I said, he wasn’t even close to what he became. ”
Delaying MMA transition from 2016 to 2021
Buchecha debated an MMA transition back in 2015 prior to suffering a major knee injury that sidelined his career for over a year.
“I only trained and held seminars only on weekends. It was a way that I managed to focus more, then in 2014 I won too. I remember that I had already won six titles. Decided to go to MMA. I said, I’m going to win two more and I’m going to MMA, I just wanted to win four absolute titles, because until then only Roger had won three.”
“In 2015 I got injured, I think it was my knee, and that changed totally the plans and my life.”
“The injury was the most difficult thing in my life.”
Almeida ended up moving to Florida, where he trains at American Top Team along with Antonio Carlos Jr. Felipe Pena hopes to join them there and ease his transition into mixed martial arts.
It also delayed his transition until 2021 when he made his debut for ONE FC.
What does Buchecha think of Gordon Ryan?
Buchecha is famously diplomatic, and determined to let the skills do the talking yet he’s a fan of what Gordon Ryan has done with the sport.
“I am a guy who particularly likes Gordon, as a person. Whenever we see each other, he is a very respectful guy. I always exchange ideas with him. I prefer Gordon more personally than he is on the internet. He created this character. He is a guy who can sit down and exchange an idea, he is a guy who talks, is polite, different from the others who want to imitate him,”
“He created this character and he does well. He used it a lot in his favor. I think the time has come when grappling was at its best, financially. And with this character of his, the way he promotes, it was the perfect combination. ”