One of the best grapplers of the decade and arguably one of the all time greats is Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida. Buchecha has dominated the sport of Jiu Jitsu winning every major championship – and he’s done it multiple times over!
No one in Jiu Jitsu has had such a dominant run like Buchecha has had. While still being rather young, he isn’t close to being done adding to his legacy. Check out his story below as we tell the full story of one of the all-time greats.
Buchecha's Early Years
Marcus Almeida grew up in Sao Vicente within the state of Sao Paulo. Almeida’s first interest was in futbol(soccer) and later on surfing.
Jiu Jitsu really wasn’t an interest for him at an early age. He was actually forced to try it out by his father. Marcus’s sister began taking Jiu Jitsu classes and their father wanted both he and Marcus to train along with her. And that suddenly sparked the love he had for the sport and was hooked!
Almeida Shows His Talent
Jiu Jitsu came very easy for Buchecha. His instructor Rodrigo Cavaca was a former world champion and saw the potential that Marcus had. Almeida quickly became Cavaca’s protege.
It was Cavaca that actually gave Almeida his nickname “Buchecha” which means big cheeks.
As a lower belt, Almeida showed his talent winning every competition he entered - including the Brasileiro, São Paulo Cup, Pans, and the Mundial.
Almeida and His Father Earn Their Blackbelts
At brown belt things were no different for Buchecha as he continued to dominate his competition. After winning every tournament he entered as a brown belt, he made it to the world championships.
Buchecha again dominated the competition winning the world championship at brown belt. On the podium his professor Cavaca awarded Almeida with his black belt. In the same week his father Cleiton also received his black belt as well!
Buchecha Moves to the US
Shortly after winning worlds at brown belt and being awarded his black belt, Almeida would have big changes in his life. He would move to the US in 2010 with his teammate Thiago “Baiano” Aragao.
There he would teach and train at the US Checkmat Academy headquarters in San Diego. Upon moving there, Buchecha would begin his preparation for his first major competition at black belt at the No-Gi World Championship.
This was Almeida’s coming out party as he easily won his first world championship at black belt. He would also win No-Gi worlds in the absolute division, proving that he would be one of the elite grapplers in the world for years to come.
The Era Of Buchecha
The 2010s would prove to be the era of Buchecha in Jiu Jitsu. After winning double gold in his first world championship, Buchecha would continue his winning ways throughout his 20s.
Winning double gold in every IBJJF World Championship from 2012-2017 and then again in 2019. Also, another double gold in the 2011 No-Gi worlds, which was the last one he competed in.
His success wouldn’t just be with IBJJF competitions. Buchecha would go on to win the Abu Dhabi Pro from 2012-2015 including double gold again in 2014 and 2015.
But winning didn’t stop there for Buchecha winning titles. He would go on to win 2 ADCC world titles in 2013 and 2017. Being one of the few grapplers that have ever won repeat titles in the most prestigious No-Gi grappling championship.
On top of being gifted with physical attributes, the reason for Buchecha’s success is because of his Jiu Jitsu game. He has a nearly complete Jiu Jitsu game that he’s used to win nearly 20 world championships.
Buchecha has a fantastic double leg takedown and along with using his elite passing game. Once on top he is able to put down insane top pressure before finishing his opponents.
If that wasn’t enough, Buchecha is also phenomenal off his back using a variety of sweeps to get on top and look for the finish.
Buchecha To MMA
After completing everything he could in Jiu Jitsu, Buchecha signed a multi fight MMA deal with One FC. For a few years now, he has been doing MMA training with American Top Team in Florida.
Unfortunately, in 2020, Buchecha hasn’t been active due to a nagging knee injury and the Covid pandemic. This knee injury also forced him to pull out of a grappling match against former UFC champ Fabricio Werdum and also postponing his MMA debut.
Without a doubt, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is already one of the greatest grapplers that have ever lived. After winning close to 20 world championships and doing everything you can in the sport, he sets his sights for the next challenge – MMA!
At 30 years old, Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida isn’t near done competing in combat sports and is still looking to add to his legacy. Many BJJ fighters tried their hand into transitioning to MMA. Some were successful and many failed. Could we see Buchecha add an MMA championship to his prestigious legacy?