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HomeFitnessBJJ Legend Marcus Almeida Is Stronger Than Ever

BJJ Legend Marcus Almeida Is Stronger Than Ever

Marcus Almeida is a 17-time Brazilian jiujitsu world champion and with six of these titles achieved within the open-weight class, “Buchecha” (which means “cheek”) is an undoubtedly record-holding icon of the game.

Having dominated BJJ for over a decade, the 32-year-old signed with ONE Championship in 2020 to start his MMA profession, and might be seeking to enhance on his already spectacular 3-0-0 document when he faces Kirill Grishenko (5-1-0) in the course of the promotion’s extremely anticipated return to Amazon Prime Video.

Marcus Almeida sat down with M&F to debate the damage that delayed his MMA debut, the way it made him a greater fighter in the long term, and why he’s having fun with life in a brand new sport.

BJJ Legendary Marcus Almeida shaking the hands of his opponent after an easy fight
Courtesy of ONE Championship

Congratulations with how issues have been going at ONE. How are you feeling proper now?

I’m feeling actually nice. I’m going into my fourth battle and obtained the job executed on the earlier battle (towards Simon Carson), so I’m actually snug proper now within the new sport. I’m actually having fun with the experience.

You first began speaking about making the transition to MMA in 2015, nevertheless it was 2021 whenever you lastly debuted with ONE Championship. I suppose life had different plans, proper?

Yeah, 2015 was after I was planning to battle my final (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) championship, however sadly I obtained damage and I tore my left knee, and I needed to [have] surgical procedure and that took me a yr to come back again. So, then all my plans modified due to the surgical procedure and in my head, I needed to come again and battle jiujitsu once more as a result of leaving the sector like that wasn’t the final reminiscence that I wished to have in Jiu-Jitsu. I got here again, I fought, in 2016 I received however I wasn’t so dominant [and I thought], what? I can squeeze in another yr. Then another yr, and another yr, till 2019, in order that’s after I ended up breaking all of the information and changing into the largest champion (of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championship). In 2020, I felt that my mission was executed in the Jiu-Jitsu sport and competitors, so I don’t have anything to show and it’s time to maneuver on, it’s time to go to MMA as a result of I all the time wished to, and right here we’re.

Do you assume that you simply continued with BJJ in order that you might gauge how the knee damage was therapeutic, and did the method truly assist to make you a greater fighter?

Oh yeah, completely, as a result of the damage modified me a lot. After the damage, it modifications the particular person, the athlete, the whole lot as a result of it made me take a look at the whole lot with a unique viewpoint. After all, I wouldn’t be assured to kick with my left leg (in MMA) instantly after the surgical procedure, so staying in Jiu-Jitsu gave me the boldness again that I wanted. Now, after I’m coaching, I don’t even give it some thought anymore.

MMA fighter and legendary BJJ Marcus Almeida in a dominate position and doing ground work aginst his opponent
Courtesy of ONE Championship

Did the damage drive you to learn to develop into a extra defensive fighter?

Yeah, my sport modified a lot. Earlier than the surgical procedure I used to go ahead, wish to assault a lot with leg locks and foot locks, however each time that you simply assault anyone’s foot, you kinda expose your foot. So after the surgical procedure I performed a a lot safer sport to guard my knee, however alternatively I used to be matching everybody as a result of I used to be controlling a lot. I realized how one can use my body weight so significantly better, and that’s when my passing and my stress sport began getting higher, and I began arm-barring everybody (laughs). I feel 2016 was the yr I received virtually each battle by submission from an armbar.

Studying to not expose your self a lot should be an necessary lesson for serving to your profession in MMA?

You don’t wanna get uncovered and get actually damage so I feel the mindset kinda helped for this. The way in which that I used to be utilizing the jiujitsu (submit damage) is what I’m making an attempt to use to MMA as a result of I wish to use the stress. I wish to use my weight.

What’s it that you’re loving most about MMA?

I’ve been doing (BJJ) since I used to be 13 years previous. It’s been virtually 20 years and so there may be not a lot change or pleasure moreover the educational. MMA, for me, every single day is like one thing new. Day by day I’m studying sooner, so I see the distinction after each coaching [session]. In MMA, I really feel like a white belt in a brand new sport. There’s this hearth to strive one thing new.

In MMA, it is advisable strike your opponent versus BJJ the place it’s principally disallowed. How have you ever discovered this transition?

Once I got here to MMA, I did zero putting. I had some wrestling [experience] however now the whole lot is like ranging from scratch.

How are you engaged on growing the ability of your strikes?

Almeida: Being trustworthy, the coaching that I like a lot is the sparring classes. After all, being a heavyweight, it’s a must to watch out with the sparring classes. I prepare with bag work, pads, however what I actually love to do is to go and put the gloves on and do a sparring session with one other large man, like me.

Your previous BJJ rival Gordon Ryan has reportedly signed with ONE Championship however hasn’t fought but. Would you be eager about preventing Ryan in an MMA setting if it was provided?

Yeah. Being trustworthy, I don’t even know if he’s preventing there anymore however after all, for MMA I’d battle him and it might be a enjoyable match to do as a result of we’re each from a jiujitsu background. However now I’ve extra expertise than him. I’m going into my fourth MMA battle and he doesn’t have any, so I feel it wouldn’t be the most effective debut for him however it might be a enjoyable battle and naturally, I’d battle him. I’m on the lookout for larger opponents who can put me in a greater place to battle for the belt. That’s the aim.

It’s an thrilling time to be a part of ONE Championship with occasions being broadcast on Amazon Prime Video. How do you’re feeling about preventing on that platform towards Grishenko?

That’s an enormous step for the ONE group, for the athletes, and a terrific alternative as a result of I feel [Amazon Prime Video] is among the greatest platforms on this planet and so this might be even greater, particularly for the U.S. viewers. We are able to present the best way that we see martial arts. We’re going on the market and making an attempt to point out our expertise with lots of respect. That’s the entire level of the group and one of many explanation why I like ONE Championship a lot.

I’m all the time assured if I step on the market. I’ve the abilities. [Grishenko] is basically powerful. He’s going to be the primary wrestler that I’ll battle. Individuals assume that I received’t go on the market and attempt to take him down however I’m an MMA fighter now. I do know that I’ve to strike, I’ve to do the whole lot, and that’s why I’m coaching a lot. I do know he’s prepared for me, and I’m prepared for him.

Marcus Almeida will battle Grishenko on the principle card below Moraes vs. Johnson II, dwell from the Singapore indoor Stadium from 10pm EDT on August 26 by way of Amazon Prime Video 1. The lead card kicks issues off from 8pm EDT. Extra for information go to



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