Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is one of the greatest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors of all time, and his career has inspired many of the biggest stars in martial arts
But he’s already a 17-time BJJ World Champion who’s ruled the grappling discipline since way back in 2011.
For many of those years, Reinier de Ridder was one of the up-and-coming competitors who greatly admired the Brazilian.
“The Dutch Knight” is now a two-division ONE World Champion in MMA – largely due to his black belt BJJ skills – and he recently revealed that Almeida was one of his biggest influences.
Humbled by that information, “Buchecha” said:
“I felt blessed to hear that from him because he’s one of the guys that I look up to in MMA. So when I found out that he also looks up to me, it was like, ‘Oh, my God, [I’m] really, really honored.’”
These days, “Buchecha” is chasing his own dreams in mixed martial arts and developing his game at American Top Team in Florida as he aims to become a World Champion in the all-around sport.
It’s been a successful switch so far, as the Brazilian is 3-0 with a trio of first-round finishes. And he recently trained with De Ridder when “The Dutch Knight” traveled to the United States for some one-on-one work.
After returning home, De Ridder called it “a big honor” to learn from the BJJ legend – but the respect was mutual.
Almeida is hoping to follow in De Ridder’s footsteps in ONE, and he was motivated by the time spent with the two-division titleholder on the mats.
“The training was really great, actually. It was amazing to train with him because he’s coming from a grappling background, and you see how he used his jiu-jitsu.
“I want to use my jiu-jitsu as he used his in his fights in his career. So that was really inspiring for me and a great opportunity. It was amazing the way that he trains, the way that he felt the game. It was great for me, not just to train but to learn a lot with him.”