‘The hardest time of my life’: Buchecha honors Leandro Lo after win at ONE Championship

On Friday at ONE on Prime Video 1, Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida picked up his fourth career MMA win in as many tries when he defeated former interim title challenger Kirill Grishenko by heel hook in just 64 seconds.

The win was the biggest of “Buchecha’s” still young MMA career, moving him one big step closer to a shot at the ONE heavyweight title. But Almeida didn’t use his post-fight speech to campaign for a title shot. Instead, he tearfully spoke about the tragic loss of his longtime friend and fellow BJJ legend Leandro Lo.

“It’s hard to say. It’s hard to talk. These last three weeks was the hardest time of my life. I lost one of my best friends. The guy was a brother to me. Lost in a tragic way. First thing, I was trying to pull out of the fight. But for sure, he’s up there, he’s in the sky. If I pull out he would be really mad at me. He would be mad at me because I’m giving up my dreams, my life, because of him… I know now he’s up there celebrating… celebrating my victory.”

An emotional “Buchecha” further explained just how difficult the final weeks of his training camp were as he coped with the loss of Lo.

“I didn’t even know how I did it, to keep these three weeks training… I was training and crying every single day… He always told me ‘life is now.’ So I just want to think about today, I don’t think about tomorrow. He teach us it might never come,” Almeida said.

Almeida has earned each of his four MMA wins by first-round stoppage; the win over Grishenko was his fastest yet.

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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