The Road To The World Championship (Mundials)

JiuJitsuMania follows BJJ’s newest phenom as he prepares for the upcoming Mundials and a highly anticipated showdown with the legendary Roger Gracie.

Marcus Almeida, known in the BJJ world as “Buchecha” at just barely 21 years of age, has done what few in this highly competitive sport ever have. Think about it. He starts training at age 14 in his home town of Santos in southern Brazil. A few years later he wins the Mundials (World Championships) as a Purple Belt, so Team CheckMat and Rodrigo Cavaca promoted him to Brown Belt. The next year, he competes in the Mundials, as a Brown Belt, and wins….so a few weeks later, Buchecha along with his 50 year old father, receive their Black Belts together in June of 2010. Incredible!

In July of 2010, Buchecha moved to south Florida to become a full time instructor at the Armory and also begins training with ADCC Champion Pablo Popovitch and Roberto “Cyborg” Abreau in addition to a host of other top notch, experienced Black Belts. A few months later he “closes out” (which means he closed out his bracket and his teammate closed out their bracket and they choose not to fight in the finals) the No Gi Pan Ams and also the No Gi World Championships. Generally in these competitions, training partners and teammates chose not to fight each other out of respect. Buchecha had been a BJJ Black Belt less than six months and he is already defeating some of the biggest names in the sport! Then just a few months ago he goes to the Abu Dhabi Pro trials in Las Vegas and wins the whole shooting match! So then, what does Buchecha do for an encore? He goes to the Pan Ams (gi this time – held the last weekend in March) and wins the gold! At the time of this writing, Buchecha is over in Abu Dhabi (we are standing on our head to hear how it goes for him) and upon return will continue training in earnest for the Mundials coming up the first weekend in June.

All well and good for the “barely legal” youngster who demonstrates competitive and personal maturity far beyond his years. But Buchecha has his sights set on becoming a World Champion as a Black Black Belt, notwithstanding that he hasn’t even had is Black Belt for a year yet! There’s one very big challenge looming on the horizon…and his name is Roger Gracie. Both Roger and Buchecha compete as Super Heavyweights, and there is likely a chance that they will be bracketed in such a way that would allow them to square off in the finals should they make it all the way through. Not to mention that this class is already stacked with a bunch of Absolute, Pan Am and ADCC winners. So how is they younger Buchecha training his mind and body to compete against other top guys and the legend of multiple, consecutive Mundial winner Roger Gracie? has the privilege of following Buchecha up to and at the Mundials as he faces his toughest test yet. We’ll follow him, with tape recorder and video camera in hand, every week through his training, his down-time, we’ll share how he lives and how he prepares mentally and how each of us can improve our game by following his methods. Check this out!


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