Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida and Bernardo Faria are two elite competitors who have both reached the highest level of the sport on multiple occasions, with several IBJJF World Championship titles each. They are both regarded as among the best BJJ competitors to ever step on the mats and they proved that they belong among the greats several times during their respective careers. This match between the two of them is from the semi-final of the absolute division at the IBJJF World Championship 2013 and it was one of the most exciting matches of the whole tournament.
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Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida v Bernardo Faria
Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida and Bernardo Faria had met on two occasions before, with the first battle between them happening almost exactly a year before this at the IBJJF World Championship 2012. That was also in the semi-final of the absolute division and Buchecha submitted Faria with a choke from the back, before going on to become the double champion that year. They then met again in the semi-final of the absolute division at the IBJJF Pan Championship in 2013, where Buchecha won 9-2 on points this time around. At the IBJJF World Championship 2013, Faria had won gold at super-heavyweight and Buchecha had won gold at ultra-heavyweight so this was a pivotal match in the absolute division.
Both Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida and Bernardo Faria started out by feeling each other out on the feet before Buchecha shot in for a takedown. Faria sprawled and shut it down to deny the points, before sitting through to closed guard anyway. The referee reset them in the center and Faria opened his guard to attack the arm but Buchecha stood up in order to take advantage and pass. Faria tried an underhook sweep before trying to work his open guard, but Buchecha dropped into half guard very heavily. Buchecha tried to complete the pass with a knee-slice, but Faria was using a lapel grip to stop him.
Faria turned the corner and started to get up with that lapel grip, wrestling up on a single-leg. He was met with some resistance but he managed to finish it and score the first 2 points of the match. Faria solidified top position and tried to pass but Buchecha turned to turtle and inverted to recover guard, leading right into Faria’s double-under pass. Buchecha countered it by shooting his legs back and getting up on top, immediately stabilizing with his knees on Faria to score him 2 points and draw level. Faria worked his way back up and neither men were willing to take bottom position as they were reset in the center again.
Bernardo Faria tried to elevate Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida but Buchecha was able to get above him and control his head, eventually getting chest-to-chest and flattening him out. Buchecha was relentless in trying to pass and did briefly secure the position and score 3 points but Faria did a brilliant job of recovering half-guard shortly after. Buchecha almost passed to mount this time but again Faria recovered half-guard, this time getting an underhook and setting up the same lapel grip as earlier. Buchecha used a grip under his opponent’s leg to defend the sweep and come back up on top, trying to backstep to pass quickly.
Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida kept fighting against the lapel grip and eventually stood up to break it, but Bernardo Faria came up with him and got to work on the single-leg again. Buchecha broke the grip and started stuffing his head but he couldn’t stop the takedown and Faria managed to bring the score to 5-4 with plenty of time left. Faria started to work an over-under pass and the pair were reset in the same position in the center, with Buchecha denying the pass almost immediately. Buchecha was able to invert and switching from attacking the arm to attacking the legs, using that to create a scramble that led to him finishing the sweep and giving himself a more convincing lead with a score of 7-4.
Faria started to weave his leg over to attack the omoplata but Buchecha was able to stand up to escape, before starting to pass again. Faria turned to turtle and after briefly working for the back, Buchecha switched to an armbar instead. He switched to an armbar on the other side when Faria defended before immediately stepping up the pace and transitioning quickly to stay on top. The match ended and Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida had managed to secure the win, leaving Bernardo Faria with a bronze medal in the absolute while he went on to add another gold medal to his collection.
The full match between Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida and Bernardo Faria was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the IBJJF: