Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida can officially call himself a MMA fighter now.
The 13-time jiu-jitsu world champion and two-time ADCC gold medalist entered the cage for his MMA debut Friday morning in Singapore, battling kickboxing specialist Anderson “Braddock” Silva in a heavyweight bout at ONE Championship: Revolution, and won in under three minutes.
“Buchecha” wasted no time on the feet, securing a takedown in the first seconds of the match and immediately getting the mount. Almeida connected a few punches from the mount before moving to side control and then north-south position, landing knees to the head. “Buchecha” eventually locked a north-south choke to force Silva to tap.
“It’s like a dream coming true,” Almeida said in his post-fight interview. “Starting a new sport from zero, something hard, but my life is about challenges. I did everything in jiu-jitsu so I don’t feel I have anything else to prove, so I decided to start a new career in MMA and that was the first step of feeling great, feeling blessed. I’m really thankful.”
“Buchecha” admitted he didn’t think the choke was that deep, but longtime jiu-jitsu coach Leo Vieira told him otherwise from the corner.
“He was locking my arm and I heard my coach Leonardo Vieira say ‘wait for the right moment’ and then when I locked the hands together I couldn’t get a good grip,” he said. “Leo said ‘he’s about to tap,’ so it’s now or never. I squeezed as hard as I could and he tapped.
“I didn’t say I would submit him in the first round, I said in the perfect world that would be perfect, a first-round submission, so the perfect world happened for me.”