Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida is one of the most successful competitors in the professional grappling world, but recently he’s been focused more on his MMA career in the ONE Championship cage. Buchecha made his professional MMA debut in 2021 and and won his first fight for ONE Championship in impressive fashion. He’s gone from strength to strength since then and has racked up a total of four wins, with all four of his wins coming by way of finish in the very first round.
In that same time, ONE Championship have started staging submission grappling matches during their events and have attracted some of the world’s top grapplers to compete in them. Buchecha has seen some of these ONE Championship grappling matches himself and it seems that they’ve encouraged him to reconsider his decision to leave BJJ behind:
“Every fight I watch makes me more excited to one day fight in ONE’s Submission Grappling division.”
While he’s watched a fair few of them, one in particular caught his attention. Mikey Musumeci recently defended his flyweight title against Gantamur Bayanduuren and applied brutal leg attacks that would’ve made the majority of competitors tap many times over. Buchecha gave his thoughts on Bayanduuren’s decision not to tap:
“I have many years of experience in the sport, and I’ve been submitted many times. So, it’s a moment when you have to be sensitive. I would have tapped, because the way it was set up, I didn’t see a situation to defend, so I would have tapped. I would like to run away from the position and the next day be training to improve. It’s not worth it not to tap, because you’ll suffer an injury, you’ll have to have surgery and be out for months. Unless I was winning the fight and there were 15 seconds left, it would be different. These are situations that only at the time you will be able to evaluate.”
Buchecha’s insight is pretty accurate too, seeing as it emerged after the fight that Bayanduuren suffered several injuries throughout the course of the multiple submission attempts he powered through. That hasn’t put Buchecha off competing in the ONE Championship submission grappling division himself, and he clarified what weightclass he’d enter if he did:
“An openweight of submission grappling is something that makes a lot of sense. I’m a guy who’s always been into fighting at weight and openweight, and I’ve always liked the openweight concept, with the chance for champions from other divisions to face each other. The absolute champion is the best of the year. I’ve always been a fan since I started training more than 20 years ago.”