Buchecha ‘Not Rushing’ MMA Ascent Despite Third Straight Dominant Win
The combat sports world is closely following BJJ icon Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida’s burgeoning MMA career, and he impressed once again last Friday in Singapore.
At ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen, the Brazilian heavyweight continued his successful switch from the grappling art to the all-encompassing sport as he finished Simon Carson with an overpowering first-round TKO.
With the victory, the 17-time BJJ World Champion remained undefeated in MMA, and he was thrilled to continue his rise after a string of pullouts led to the cancelations of his previously scheduled fights.
He said afterward:
“Yeah, I’m so happy, so stoked that I got one more win, and I’m 3-0 right now. I have a lot of respect for Simon Carson. He gave me his word, he signed the contract, and he showed up on the day.
“It was hard for me to find an opponent, but finally we found one, and I hope to get back as soon as possible. I want to keep on track and I want to keep the momentum going.”
“Buchecha” won his first two MMA contests with opening-round submissions, and while he utilized his famed grappling against Carson, he ultimately secured the stoppage with his fists.
The American Top Team and Evolve MMA representative took down the Australian after a brief striking exchange and then progressed his position on the ground until he got to mount.
From there, he showcased his destructive ground-and-pound and earned the win after just 2:24 of action.
The Brazilian said post-fight:
“It was back and forth [in the striking], but I saw the opportunity to take him down, so I did. He was defending really well, but once I got into a good position, the mount, I felt like it was a good position to ground-and-pound, so I didn’t waste any energy before.
“I felt like it was the moment to start punching to open him up for a submission or something, but I saw him defending. So [I thought], ‘I’m going to keep punching until the referee stops it.’
“That was my first TKO, but I hope not the last, that’s for sure.”
Buchecha Won’t Rush His Run Toward The Top
ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar and ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin have both admitted to keeping a close eye on Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida – and the BJJ legend became even harder to ignore after his win at ONE 158.
But while “Buchecha” is happy the top dogs are paying attention, he wants to become a more well-rounded mixed martial artist before he considers challenging either man for a World Title belt.
The 32-year-old said:
“It wasn’t really long ago [since my debut], right? The first fight was in September, so it was less than a year apart from the fight from today. But one thing I can say is I’m feeling really confident in the cage. I’m learning the game, and every fighter becomes more comfortable. I’m not rushing anything. I’m taking my time to do everything.
“For me to hear about these guys saying such good things about me, it’s a big honor because both of them are really big names in the sport. And it’s good to know that they’re watching the beginning of my career.
“[Malykhin] and Arjan Bhullar have to do their business [to unify the belts first], but I’m working my way up. In the future I’m going to have more opportunities. But I’m not worried about fighting them right now.”
Above all, the Brazilian is eager to get back inside the Circle.
There might not be many athletes who want to throw down with the grappling superstar, but he’s willing to square off against anyone and continue building his MMA resume in ONE Championship.
“I saw Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes is coming up on August 26 [on Prime Video], so I’ll be down to be on that card, 100 percent. A couple of weeks to [rest], that’s it. I hope I can get back to the cage as soon as possible, so this date would be perfect for me.”