With skills like Marcus Almeida’s, it may be difficult to find opponents willing to go toe-to-toe with the world-famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu star.
However, one man is finally brave enough to face him in the ONE Circle. Almeida faces Australian Simon Carson in a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout this Friday, 3 June, at ONE: Tawanchai vs. Larsen at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Almeida, more popularly known as “Buchecha,” has had three opponents fall through, which could be to the chagrin of any athlete. However, the 32-year-old takes the situation in stride.
“It's a little bit frustrating. But I don't let it get me down because it is what it is, right? When I sign a contract, I make sure that I am professional and do my part and be there on fight day. So that's what I'm doing – I'm here,” he said.
“I do my training, even with the injuries and everything. I find a way to still train and show up on fight day. I have never skipped a competition in jiu-jitsu in my life. If I sign up, I fight.”
With a grappling record of 138-14 and a perfect 2-0 status in MMA, it’s hardly any wonder why others are intimidated. As a 17-time BJJ World Champion, both of his two performances in the Circle ended in the first round via submission. The first was against Anderson Silva at ONE: REVOLUTION and the second came against Kang Ji Won at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS.
The ADCC and IBJJF gold medalist is grateful that Carson is stepping in and eager for the challenge. The Australian has won two of his MMA bouts via TKO in the first round, which can prove to be an obstacle for “Buchecha.”
“Simon is a tough guy. I know he's a really good kickboxer, a big guy. [He got] two wins and one loss, so it means that he doesn't have too much MMA experience, but I don't as well. So it doesn't mean anything. He can be a really good kickboxer, so we're going to find out. I'm going to do my best. I'm not going to change anything. My focus is still the same, it doesn't matter who I'm fighting,” Almeida said.
Watch ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen live on Disney+ Hotstar or Star Sports Select 2 beginning with the lead card at 3 p.m. India Standard Time (IST) on Friday, 3 June. The main card broadcasts live on Disney+ Hotstar and Star Sports Select 2 at 6 p.m. IST.