Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida is still very much at the beginning of his MMA career but he’s apparently moving on from BJJ competition altogether in order to focus on his new venture. He made his professional debut for ONE FC in November 2021 against GLORY Kickboxing veteran Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva and finished him in impressive fashion by landing devastating knees to the head on the ground before locking up a north-south choke to secure the tap. Owing partly to the fact that he sustained virtually no damage, he’s already been eager to get back in to action and has booked his second MMA fight against undefeated Korean heavyweight Kang Ji Won less than two months after he made his debut.
Buchecha is of course one of the greatest BJJ competitors in history and has won more IBJJF world titles than anyone else, along with two ADCC world titles as well. Regardless, attempting to make the transition to MMA fighter and compete in any major promotion requires a lot of effort and sacrifice. As a result, grappling fans may be left a little disappointed as it appears that Buchecha no longer intends to compete in BJJ. Buchecha recently sat down with MMAJunkie to discuss his transition to MMA, and what it means for his BJJ career:
“I always had in my head that a real fighter always tests himself, and I want to test myself. That’s what fighting is about. I tested myself in the gi, and I got like 13 world titles as a black belt. Then I tested myself in no gi and I won two ADCC titles, which is kind of like the Olympics of grappling.”
“So now I want to test myself in MMA. I did my first fight and of course I’m not done. I like it. It’s a new game.
Since my last world championship, I don’t have the fire, the desire anymore to go through a camp with the gi. To win 14th time, 15th time, I think that’s not going to make a difference in my legacy.”
“I proved myself [in BJJ] already, so it’s time for a new challenge. It’s time to move on. It’s a new chapter of my life. I’m really excited about it, and it feels like a brand new beginning. It’s the same feeling when I got my black belt in 2010. I wanted to prove myself and test myself against the best. It’s a similar feeling I’m having right now in MMA.”