ONE Fight Night 13 features a battle of heavyweight styles, as former BJJ world champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida takes on former Senegalese wrestling great Oumar “Reug Reug” Kane at Bangkok’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
While the clientele at the famed Muay Thai arena may be more used to seeing stand-up wars, this matchup pits two huge heavyweights who are well-versed in getting things done on the ground – one via submission and the other via ground and pound.
Ahead of fight night in Bangkok, “Buchecha” sat down for a Q&A session as he shared his thoughts ahead of fight night in Thailand.
How’s your preparation for your upcoming fight with “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane?
I’m preparing very well. The training has been excellent, as it has been in previous fights. I train everything. I really like to train wrestling, jiu-jitsu, which will always be my flagship, and striking. Nothing changed. I keep doing the same training. The emphasis is on the overall context.
Are you expecting “Reug Reug” to grapple with you?
Reug Reug is a very tough guy; he comes from a good sequence of victories. His last defeat was against Kirill Grishenko, whom I beat in my last fight. It was a very tough fight between these two wrestlers, so the fight ended up being a stand-up fight. “Reug Reug” is a guy who comes from grappling and has a very good foundation, so I think he’ll try to exploit that to keep the fight on its feet. He’s definitely been training a lot on takedown defense and striking. I think those are his strong points.
How will you approach this matchup?
My weapon for this fight, as in all other fights, is that I like to get in the cage and show that I’m not just a jiu-jitsu fighter, but an MMA fighter. So, I’ll be prepared for 15 minutes of fighting, if necessary. Of course, my specialty is jiu-jitsu, and if I can use it in the fight, which will always be my goal, great. But if that’s not possible, I won’t get frustrated. As I said, I’ll be prepared to fight the three rounds on my feet, if necessary.
You have had an ongoing trend of finishes since you began your MMA career – all your fights have ended in the first round. Do you intend to sustain that streak of yours?
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. 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.
Do you think a world title shot is on the horizon if you leave Lumpinee Boxing Stadium with the victory on August 4?
A lot of people ask me about this. I really don’t think (about it) and I don’t care about it. I leave it in the hands of my coaches and my manager. I’m just a fighter; I go there and do my job. When my manager and coaches think I’m ready, I’ll be ready. I don’t fight, thinking that the next one might be for the belt. I just go there and do my job.