“I’ve become an MMA fighter”

Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida is arguably the greatest submission grappler in history, but he’s more than just a Brazilian jiu-jitsu icon.

Almeida has successfully transitioned into mixed martial arts and he’s going for his third straight win in the sport when he takes on Australia’s Simon Carson at ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen on June 3.

‘Buchecha’ is a true legend in the realm of martial arts, with 17 BJJ world titles under his name. True to his strengths, his first two wins inside the circle came via first-round submission.

The Brazilian grappler said that he’d like to display an evolved striking game against Larson, but he won’t hesitate to go for the submission if the opportunity presents itself.

‘Buchecha’ told the media in his pre-fight interview:

“I’m ready to do anything, you know, I’m ready to fight 15 minutes striking. So, if I have to do grappling, if I have to like outwrestle him, [then I’ll go for it]. I’m training a lot. I’m not training just in grappling. I’m not just training in jiu-jitsu.”

He added:

“I’m training like MMA, I’ve become an MMA fighter, so I do what I have to do, if I have to strike, if I have to do it, I’ll do it. But if I see the opportunity to take him down and use my jiu-jitsu, I’m going to do it as well. I know he has a good jiu-jitsu, so it’s going to be a good one, 100%.”

Catch the full interview below:

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Almeida had two quick fights in September and December of 2021, with neither of the two matches reaching three minutes. In his MMA debut against Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva, Almeida won via a north-south choke 2:55 into the first round.

‘Buchecha’ then followed it up with another submission win when he submitted Kang Ji Won with a rear-naked choke 2:27 into the fight.


‘Buchecha’ is focused on MMA

While ONE Championship continued to push submission grappling into the mainstream, Almeida is not one to immediately jump back in.

The legendary grappler said he’s fully committed to his budding MMA career and would only go back to submission grappling if there’s a champion to be challenged.

“To be honest, right now my focus is 100% MMA but if I see somebody holding a grappling belt, I would try to like or maybe I want to steal it, you know what I mean,” he said.

The Brazilian added:

“So maybe I’ll try to jump in and fight for the belt but right now I don’t feel like fighting. But if I saw somebody holding a heavyweight belt for grappling, then I’ll come up, then I’ll show up and try to fight for the belt.”

We’ll see if Almeida can take the next step towards MMA glory when he makes the walk to the circle for the third time as a mixed martial artist this Friday at ONE 158.


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