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Widely regarded as the greatest active jiu-jitsu champion, Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida is ready to move to MMA.
The news was published first by FloGrappling and later confirmed by Sherdog.com Buchecha has secured the services of Dominance MMA founder Ali Abdelaziz in preparation for his transition, but he has not signed with a specific promotion yet. Abdelaziz represents a number of prominent MMA fighters, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje and Henry Cejudo, to name a few
Almeida owns the record with 13 world jiu-jitsu championships as a black belt. He was champion of the super heavyweight division and absolute in six of the last eight world jiu-jitsu championships. “Buchecha” is also a two-time ADCC champion.
Coincidentally, Rodolfo Vieira, Buchecha’s biggest jiu-jitsu rival until 2017, is also signed with Abdelaziz. After five impressive wins in MMA, Vieira signed with the UFC in 2019 and has earned submission wins over Oskar Piechota and Saparbek Safarov in the middleweight division.
"Buchecha" and Rodolfo faced each other six times in jiu-jitsu competitions in the absolute division, with Buchecha holding a 5-1 record in those meetings. While they were rivals in competition, they developed a great friendship outside the grappling realm. In MMA, however, there is no chance of facing each other again, as the 30-year-old Almeida weighs 240 pounds and told Sherdog.com that he plans on remaining in the heavyweight division.