Buchecha tests skills against Anderson Braddock Silva on Friday, September 24th. This heavyweight collision goes down at Singapore Indoor Stadium as part of ONE: Revolution.
I spoke with Marcus Buchecha Almeida ahead of his mixed martial arts debut here. Excerpts from our conversation are below.
The opponent switch from Thomas Narmo and the timeline on that
“I think they send the message for me Tuesday. Actually I don’t even know because I don’t like to deal with that. I think it’s kind of stressful. Who does that is my coaches with my manager Ali. So they talk with the matchmaker and they figure it out. So I didn’t even know until they said send the new contract. They were talking, they just showed me the contract, showing the new opponent.”
The eagerness to finally make this MMA debut after a myriad of roadblocks
“I don’t want to get my fight pushed forward again like it was last time. So I was supposed to fight February and I still didn’t fight. So it’s been kinda like a long wait. But not complaining, it’s been great for me to train and to learn more about the game. So it’s been good but I think now it’s time to fight. Not to wait anymore.”
Past work, at Evolve as well as AKA, and American Top Team being the current base of operations
“Yeah no actually ATT is my home now. Feeling like home here. For over a year right now. Ssince I signed with ONE, I decided to move here to Florida. So I have two main friends here…They always want me to come here and train with them. So I did. First I didn’t know how it would be. But everybody treats me so well here. I have grra coches here. I’m learning so much here with my striking coach here. My wrestling coach Steve Mocco. We have King Mo as well, and other lightweight coaches here.”
UFC vet and current PFL finalist Shoeface being a main training partner
“Actually, I’m living here with him now. He is my roommate…We train so much jiu-jitsu. It’s been great because at first I was scared to not have good jiu-jitsu guys only. Of course the MMA guys, it’s amazing because we have so many. But sometimes I want to do just jiu-jitsu with the high, high-level black belts and he’s one of them. I’ve trained with him since I was a blue belt and now we do that often here.”
Shoeface being roommates with Buchecha and what they get up to outside of MMA.
“I like to go out. Do something different, go to the beach. He likes to play tennis and different stuff. I like to surf but here there are no waves. It’s been hard, and there’s no boarding. So I’m missing those things. But I always like to be outside doing something, when I’m not training. I don’t like to be at home just resting. Otherwise, life becomes boring you know what I mean. So you have to be doing stuff that you love.”
The facets of his lauded jiu-jitsu game that he has had to alter for MMA competition
“Actually it’s a big change. A big adaption, big adjustments that I had to do with my jiu-jitsu. Because of course, in jiu-jitsu, you’re never really worried about getting punched or exposing yourself in bad positions. In MMA, you have to worry about it. Because like, it improved my jiu-jitsu so much. I’ feeling my iu jitsu got much better, especially the no gi. Because I never really trained no-gi much…But now, my focus is on no-gi and it’s been amazing. My jiu-jitsu has changed a lot. I’m liking the new version of Buchecha you know.”
Thoughts on ONE: Revolution opponent Anderson Braddock Silva
“Braddock is a legend. Actually, he is a great guy. We know each other. I didn’t want to fight a Brazilian especially somebody that I know. But it is what it is right. We don’t choose that. But like you said he’s a legend. He fought like K1, Glory, and ONE a lot of times. So we’ll be a great fight for sure you know. Big names in different sports fighting in MMA. I think will be something big for ONE, for sure.
Gordon Ryan’s inclusion in ONE Championship and if he would want to face Ryan under MMA rules
“He is not fighting MMA. He said he’s just fighting grappling. So I don’t really think about that because he said he isn’t fighting. I’m just worried about my MMA now. So of course, if it’s time for MMA, I would fight no problem at all.”
Losing his first eight BJJ tournaments, all in the first round, and posting that on social media to inspire young jiu-jitsu players
“Yeah, for sure. It’s something that was really hard for me. But I kept training. I kept with my focus and like you said, it wasn’t easy at all for me. If you have passion about something, and you really work hard. Doesn’t matter if it’s in your sports, in your life, in your personal life, in your work. If you’re passionate about something and you mix that with hard work. That’s the perfect combination.”
“There is no way it goes wrong. I think that was my secret. Was passionate about jiu-jitsu and I was training so much. I put my a hundred percent on that. And after a couple of tournaments, I won my first one then my second one. And just like that I won the worlds and changed my belt. Got the purple belt until I got the Black Belt and became what I became nowadays. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but it was worth it for sure.”
Meeting Mike Tyson and the backstory on that interaction
“Actually I was in California and my friend was there. My manager Ali was actually organizing the event and he invited me with Marlon Moraes. Me and Marlon, we are friends. Since my day one here in America and that’s when I met Marlon. We started life together here. The American dream actually.”
“He invites me to go there. And of course, to meet a legend was a great opportunity… So it was a really good experience to meet him. I remember waiting late nights with my dad to watch his fights, you know. Along wait for hours to see the fight finish in one punch. But to meet him years later was great.”
Parting thoughts for Buchecha
“I would like to say thank you guys very much. Thank you everyone who support me since jiu-jitsu and I have a lot of supporters. I think the whole BJJ community will be supporting me and I really appreciate that. Thanks everyone from ATT, my team supports me. Everybody who supports me from Evolve MMA as well…Thank you to everyone for being part of my journey until today. And I hope I can represent everyone really well and let’s do it. It’s time”