‘Buchecha’ open to return to grappling in ONE Championship

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida has indicated he’d like to compete in ONE Championship’s submission grappling division.

Legendary jiu-jitsu competitor Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida might not be done with grappling quite yet.

One of the most accomplished BJJ athletes ever, the Brazilian hasn’t competed in grappling since the 2019 ADCC World Championships where he took home second in the absolute division. Since then, “Buchecha” has focused his efforts on his promising MMA career, racking up a perfect 4-0 record with a 100 percent finishing record, all with ONE Championship.

While Almeida continues to focus on MMA – and could find himself in a heavyweight title fight soon – he has nonetheless indicated an interest in returning to grappling competition, this time under the ONE Championship banner.

In 2022, ONE rapidly expanded its submission grappling divisions, adding Mikey Musumeci and Kade Ruotolo as inaugural ONE submission grappling world champions. The promotion also signed elite competitors like Tye Ruotolo, Bianca Basilio, Tommy Langaker, and Renato Canuto to its growing roster.

After watching Musumeci’s recent successful title defense against Combat Sambo champion Gantumur Bayanduuren, “Buchecha” says he’s inspired to return to grappling competition.

“Every fight I watch makes me more excited to one day fight in ONE’s Submission Grappling division,” he said.

In the clash between Musumeci and Bayanduuren, the champion cranked on a heel hook for minutes on end, causing serious injury to Bayanduuren. Miraculously, the Mongolian refused to tap.

Almeida shared his thoughts on that match:

“I have many years of experience in the sport, and I’ve been submitted many times. So, it’s a moment when you have to be sensitive. I would have tapped, because the way it was set up, I didn’t see a situation to defend, so I would have tapped. I would like to run away from the position and the next day be training to improve. It’s not worth it not to tap, because you’ll suffer an injury, you’ll have to have surgery and be out for months. Unless I was winning the fight and there were 15 seconds left, it would be different. These are situations that only at the time you will be able to evaluate.”

If “Buchecha” does in fact return to submission grappling, he envisions competing in the openweight division.

He added:

“An openweight of submission grappling is something that makes a lot of sense. I’m a guy who’s always been into fighting at weight and openweight, and I’ve always liked the openweight concept, with the chance for champions from other divisions to face each other. The absolute champion is the best of the year. I’ve always been a fan since I started training more than 20 years ago.”

Almeida most recently fought in August 2022 at ONE on Prime Video 1 where he picked up a first-round submission victory over Kirill Grishenko. 

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

Ben Coate has 1155 posts and counting. See all posts by Ben Coate