Thirteen-time jiu-jitsu world champion Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida is slowly but surely moving up the ranks of the ONE heavyweight division. After dominating and winning pretty much every medal in the sport of jiu-jitsu, 'Buchecha' decided to transition to MMA last year and has been looking good since.
His first two fights were utter decimations of his opponents inside one round. Anderson 'Braddock' Silva and Kang Ji Won never came close to giving Almeida a problem inside the cage.
For his third fight, people were expecting an opponent that has a more diverse skillset, not just knockout artists like Silva and Kang. Senegalese wrestling icon Oumar 'Reug Reug' Kane was slated to face Almeida at ONE 157 but the fight was ultimately canceled. Next was fellow Brazilian Hugo Cunha but just like the Kane fight, the eventual clash got scrapped from ONE 157.
Finally, Australian banger Simon Carson answered the call to face 'Buchecha' at ONE 158 and the two clashed on the lead card of the event. During the fight, Almeida showed something we haven't seen from him before – kicks. He's been showcasing his Muay Thai training on his Instagram page and we did see the grappler throw a few hard kicks on the onset of the fight.
He didn't stay in kicking mode, however, as Almeida went for his patented blast double leg and put Carson on his backside. From top control, the jiu-jitsu icon rained down heavy blows on the prone Carson and the referee was forced to stop the fight.
Watch the fight highlights here:
"I don't care who I'm going against" - Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida after winning his fight at ONE 158
Due to the fact that he had two straight fight cancellations, Almeida now pays very little weight on who he wants to fight next as the opponents keep changing. Speaking to Mitch Chilson in his post-fight cage interview, the grappling legend said:
"Man, it's been a really difficult time for me to get an opponent, so much respect for Simon Carson to take the fight. He signed the contract and he showed up, just like I did, so much respect for him. So now, I don't think too much about opponents [because] they keep changing. So, I'm gonna go home, get better, get training and show up. So I don't care who I'm going against. I'm gonna be prepared. I'm gonna give my best and that's it."
Whoever he faces next, we're sure 'Buchecha' will be ready. The former grappling champion looks so comfortable and confident in MMA that it seems like he's been doing it all his life. With a few more fights under his belt and a lot more time in training, we might see perhaps the most dangerous heavyweight in the world today.