Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida has certainly made himself known in ONE Championship’s heavyweight division since his promotional debut in 2021.
The 17-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion is currently riding a 4-0 slate, with all his victories coming inside the opening frame.
Almeida will look to continue that run of form at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Saturday, August 5. But his opponent undeniably has the skill set to cause him problems.
The Brazilian behemoth will meet dangerous slugger “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane at the event, which is set to take place at Bangkok, Thailand’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, and their tussle is expected to deliver fireworks.
On paper, the wrestling acumen of “Reug Reug” should prove to be Almeida’s toughest test yet, and his impressive record in ONE backs up that claim.
Kane has amassed a 5-1 record in ONE, and currently finds himself in the best form of his career with back-to-back wins over Batradz Gazzaev and Jasur Mirzamukhamedov.
But “Buchecha” knows how to get the job done, and he’ll be entering the ring with a target in mind – and every tool he needs to hit it.
“Of course, my goal, as it was in previous fights, is to do my homework. Preferably, in the first round. That’s always the goal,” he said.
“But like I said, if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be prepared for whatever happens in the fight. But, without a doubt, the goal is a submission in the first round, as it happened in my previous fights.”
The heavyweight division is enjoying a new lease of life in 2023, and most contenders in the rapidly evolving weight class are hungry to prove they deserve a shot at newly minted heavyweight king Anatoly Malykhin.
Almeida is different in that respect. Despite being undefeated and ruthlessly dominant, he’s in no rush to climb the ladder. Instead, the 33-year-old star is happy to continue racking up wins and gaining vital experience until the people he trusts to make the call tell him it’s his time.
“I gain time in the cage. I gain experience, which I think is the most important thing. I don’t want to speed anything up. When my team says I’m ready, I’ll be ready,” he said.
“I will fight for the belt when the time is right. But I don’t go into any fight thinking about the next one. I see a lot of athletes saying that they are going to [win] one, then another, and then will compete for the belt.
“Then comes the fight and ends up losing. I’m not like that. My focus is totally on ‘Reug Reug.’ After that, I think about the next fight.”