“I want to grab my opponent” – BJJ legend ‘Buchecha’ says his striking has improved, but will always prefer to submit his foes

Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida - Photo by ONE Championship
Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida - Photo by ONE Championship

Make no mistake about it, Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida will go to his world-class grappling every chance he gets, even if he wants to prove he is a legitimate striker in the world of mixed martial arts.

The 33-year-old American Top Team / Evolve MMA representative made the switch from submission grappling to MMA in September of 2021, when he joined ONE Championship, the world’s largest martial arts organization.

He went on to win his first four fights in epic fashion, beating all of his opponents via finish, which includes three submissions and one technical knockout.

‘Buchecha’ was on an absolute tear, showcasing not only his deadly grappling game in fights, but also a steadily improving striking repertoire that made him more dangerous each time out.

But while the 33-year-old admits he likes to trade and bang, Almeida says he will always be looking for an opportunity to take his opponents to the ground and strangle them.

Speaking candidly in a recent appearance on the Jaxxon Podcast, Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida says he’s always seeking the submission, no matter how good he’s getting at trading leather.


The 33-year-old Brazilian icon said:

“At the end of the day, I'm not going to change like 20 years of jiu-jitsu experience over like three years of striking. Of course, I want to show my improvements because I train every day, I want to feel comfortable at least, but if I have the opportunity, I want to grab my opponent and use my jiu-jitsu.”

Needless to say, if ‘Buchecha’ is successful in bringing his striking up to the level of his grappling, it’s game over for anyone who is in the cage with him.

Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida learned a lot from loss to ‘Reug Reug’

After winning four straight in ONE, Almeida met his match against Oumar ‘Reug Reug’ Kane in August of 2023, when he suffered his first professional MMA loss.

‘Buchecha’ said it was a positive to suffer defeat, as he learned a lot from the experience. Almeida detailed the fight as he remembered it:

“In the first round I did like a bad shot and I got a really bad ground and pound. I was just feeling weird but I couldn't think straight but I did the three rounds. I remember everything, it was like a tough fight but despite that I still took him down. It wasn't my plan to lose but it was a good experience for my career so I want to go there again and test it out again.”

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Edited by C. Naik