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Marcus Buchecha Eyes Heavyweight Gold In New Year

LockerRoom Team
23 December 2022

While Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida’s mixed martial arts career has remained unblemished at 4-0, the Brazilian feels he is only just getting started in ONE Championship.

The 17-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion arrived in late 2021, picking up two first-round submission victories against Anderson Silva at ONE: Revolution and Kang Ji Won at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS.

Setting himself up for success, Almeida’s form didn't miss a beat when he returned in June 2022 at ONE 158. This time, the Brazilian heavyweight showcased his dangerous combination of elite grappling and powerful hands against Australia’s Simon Carson to earn the first knockout win of his career in the opening frame.

“Buchecha” returned just two months later at ONE Fight Night 1, dispatching former ONE Heavyweight World Title challenger Kirill Grishenko in just 56 seconds for his fourth finish in a row. 

Reflecting on this year, Almeida said: 

“[This year] was really a very good year. I just have to be grateful. I earned two very important victories in my career. In 2021, I also had two fights, so in a period of 11 months, I had four fights. It was a very fast-moving period, having one camp after another. 

ALSO READ | Buchecha Committed To His New Career In MMA

“The feeling is of ‘mission accomplished.’ I’m happy to be doing well in the organization and taking the right steps in my career without hurrying. I think everything is going the right way.”

The American Top Team representative’s meteoric rise through the heavyweight ranks is one that’s been hard to ignore for many of his divisional competitors.

Originally, Almeida was taking it fight by fight, but as his stock continues to grow in the organization, he admits the ONE Heavyweight World Championship is something he has his eye on.

“All my focus is on MMA, and 2023 will be no different,” the heavyweight prospect said.

“My ultimate goal is to become ONE Heavyweight World Champion, so I’m working really hard on that. I hope to achieve this goal in 2023. If I manage to maintain this good form and conquer some more good victories, then I think I will be worthy of challenging for the title.”

The undefeated heavyweight sees no better place to take hold of a heavyweight top spot than in the promotion’s first U.S. event on Friday, 5 May, at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III, which goes down live from the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

ALSO READ | Buchecha, Reinier De Ridder: The Respect Is Mutual

“In May, it will be ONE’s first event in the United States, where I’ve lived for 12 years. I became an American [citizen], so it would be very special to fight on this card,” Almeida said.

“I know that there are a lot of people who will fight on this card and nothing has been talked about yet, but it would be really special.”

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