One Championship has won the bidding war for a high-profile MMA neophyte.
ESPN announced on Thursday that multiple-time Brazilin jiu-jitsu world champ Marcus Almeida would be joining the One roster in the heavyweight division. Almeida’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, released this information to the outlet. The contract was a multi-year deal with the Singapore-based organization, and the terms were not disclosed.
On Saturday, “Buchecha” announced his retirement from grappling competition along with his intention of moving to MMA. The 30-year-old has won a litany of medals and championships during his career, including gold medals in the Pan American Championship and IBJJF World Championship, as well as Abu Dhabi Combat Club championships in 2013 and 2017. Almeida competed both in the 100 kg – 220-pound — and absolute divisions, where the latter has no weight cap. Among his many achievements, “Buchecha” shattered the record held by Roger Gracie for the most championship wins in the absolute division, doubling up Gracie’s tally of three with six of his own.
The debut for “Buchecha” may come at the end of this year, but could also be pushed to the beginning of 2021 depending on the coronavirus pandemic. Almeida will be training at the Singapore home of Evolve MMA, instead of his home team of Chekmat in California. Since officially declaring his intention to compete in MMA, Almeida has already trained with American Kickboxing Academy.
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