Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida Set for MMA Debut on April 14

One of grappling’s most accomplished competitors ever is (once again) scheduled to make his professional MMA debut. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is set to face Ji Won Kang at a ONE Championship event on April 14, 2021. On Wednesday, Buchecha confirmed the bout on his Instagram page.

Buchecha’s move to MMA has been long awaited. In December 2020, it was announced that he would make his MMA debut against Omar “Reug Reug” Kane, but that bout fell through and Reug Reug was booked against a new opponent.

Simply put, Buchecha is one of the best jiu-jitsu players to ever make the jump to MMA. His accomplishments in grappling are far too many to list here, but in short, he is a two-time ADCC champion and a whopping eight-time IBJJF weight and absolute world champion. Buchecha last competed in grappling at the 2019 ADCC championship where he lost in the absolute finals to Gordon Ryan. He has a well-rounded skillset in grappling, but his takedown game and guard passing should serve him well in MMA.

Buchecha’s opponent, Kang, is undefeated in four professional MMA fights against a range of competition. All four of his wins have come by first-round stoppage. Importantly, all of those stoppages were the result of strikes, indicating that Kang might prefer striking over grappling, which would put him at a severe skill disadvantage against Buchecha.

The April 14 ONE Championship event will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between current champion Christian Lee and challenger Timofey Nastyukhin.

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.

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