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Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida signs with ONE Championship for MMA debut

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Grappling icon Marcus Almeida is expected to make his MMA debut in late 2020 or early 2021.

Buchecha made history at the 2018 IBJJF World Championships by becoming the only 11x World Champion. FloGrappling/YouTube

According to MMA Fighting ONE Championship has signed one of the world’s most decorated and dominant Brazilian jiu jitsu players: Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida. Almeida’s manager Ali Abdelaziz told that outlet that he expects his client to make his MMA debut in either late 2020 or early 2021.

Buchecha, which means ‘big cheeks’, is a black belt under Rodrigo Cavaca and is widely considerted as “the greatest grappler of his generation and arguably of all time” (per BJJ Heroes). He has won 6 IBJJF World Championship open weight titles and is the current record holder for absolute gold medals at the ‘Mundial’.

Buchecha, who is 30-years-old, mostly competes at 222 lbs. It’s not known what weight division he will compete at for ONE Championship.

This is not the first time ONE has signed a top BJJ athlete to compete in MMA. Garry Tonan made his MMA debut for ONE in 2018. He currently holds a 5-0 record with fights only in ONE. His most recent victory was over Yoshiki Nakahara, via heel hook, at ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon in May 2019.