‘I’m Not Just A Jiu-Jitsu Fighter’ – Buchecha Eager To Continue MMA Ascent Against Reug Reug
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is hoping to stay unbeaten in mixed martial arts when he returns to action at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Prime Video.
The legendary 17-time BJJ World Champion will face “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane in a heavyweight MMA contest that’s been a long time in the making, and he plans to showcase his evolving all-around game in U.S. primetime on Friday, August 4.
Boasting a 4-0 slate with four first-round finishes since his switch over from grappling, “Buchecha” has taken on a mix of opponents who’ve asked different questions of his skill set.
Now, he expects the same from Senegalese wrestling phenom “Reug Reug” when they meet at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
“‘Reug Reug’ is a very tough guy. He comes from a good sequence of victories. His last defeat was against Kirill Grishenko, whom I beat in my last fight. It was a very tough fight between them, two wrestlers, so the fight ended up being a stand-up fight.
“‘Reug Reug’ is a guy who comes from grappling. He has a very good foundation, so I think he’ll try to exploit that to keep the fight on its feet. He’s definitely been training a lot on takedown defense and striking. I think those are his strong points.”
Although he built his name and reputation as one of the greatest BJJ practitioners in history, Almeida’s main priority is to showcase his transition into a complete mixed martial artist.
The American Top Team representative will always be ready to unleash his potent submission game, but he’s constantly striving for improvements in every area so that he’s not solely reliant on it.
And against Kane, he expects to put some new tricks on display:
“My weapon for this fight, as in all other fights, is that I like to get in the cage and show that I’m not just a jiu-jitsu fighter, but an MMA fighter. So, I’ll be prepared for 15 minutes of fighting if necessary.
“Of course, my specialty is jiu-jitsu, and if I can use it in the fight, which will always be my goal, great. But if that’s not possible, I won’t get frustrated. As I said, I’ll be prepared to fight the three rounds on my feet if necessary.
“But, without a doubt, the goal is a submission in the first round, as has happened in my previous fights.”
Buchecha Refuses To Be Distracted Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 13
The matchup between Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida and Oumar “Reug Reug” Kane has already been scheduled twice in the past, with the man from Senegal withdrawing both times.
“Buchecha” admits that those pullouts negatively affected him, but he’s been able to change his mindset. This time, the Brazilian vows to focus on himself and stay calm no matter what transpires between now and ONE Fight Night 13.
“The fight was canceled twice. I had the contract signed, but unfortunately, it ended up not happening.
“I believe that this time the fight will really happen. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be prepared to fight anyone. On August 4, I will be ready, whether it’s ‘Reug Reug’ or another opponent.
“If something changes, I won’t be frustrated this time. The other times I got frustrated, but I learned some lessons from these opponent changes and nothing will faze me.”
Another element beyond Almeida’s immediate control is the ONE Heavyweight MMA World Title picture.
Many fans and pundits are eagerly waiting for his chance to challenge for gold, but “Buchecha” continues to assert that it’s not weighing on his mind.
Instead, the unbeaten grappling specialist is only giving bandwidth to the task at hand and refuses to get ahead of himself.
The 33-year-old added:
“I don’t think about [the World Title], and I don’t care about it. I leave it in the hands of my coaches and my manager. I’m just an employee. I go there and do my job. When my manager and coaches think I’m ready, I’ll be ready.
“At the same time, I gain time in the cage, I gain experience, which I think is the most important thing. I don’t want to speed anything up.
“I will fight for the belt when the time is right. But I don’t go into any fight thinking about the next one. My focus is totally on ‘Reug Reug.’”