BJJ World Champ Talks MMA: “I saw that my jiu-jitsu didn’t work”

13x Jiu jitsu world champion made his mma debut today – after more than 5 years since he first announced his transition from grappling to sport. Marcus Almeida Buchecha is the Guinness World Record Book Holder of the number of jiu jitsu World titles one could have.

You can watch the replay of his mma debut. It’s somewhere around the midpoint of -57 if you’re watching on desktop. Presumably the time stamp will change after the event finishes.

Which brings us to what Buchecha said during the preparation for the fight. In one of the several interviews he’s given he’s admitted that his jiu jitsu was very flawed when he transitioned in spite of immaculate record in IBJJF competitions.

“The first four months were a shock,” Almeida told mmafighting. “It’s a whole other sport. I saw that my jiu-jitsu didn’t work, ‘my jiu-jitsu sucks,’ but it’s just different. Jiu-jitsu guys think they’ll come in and take people down and catch them, but they won’t. It’s different.

“I remember taking people down and they’re getting back up, taking their backs and they would end up on top. It was very frustrating. I was losing positions on a daily basis that there was no way I would lose training jiu-jitsu. It was very frustrating at first.”

Additionally Buchecha emphasized how he feels that if he’s still having that much of a hard time in a year – he would be going out of mma:

“It was tough at first, but now I’m adapting better,” he said. “I still have a lot to get better at, of course, but I did better than I expected. I remember having headaches after every sparring session and everybody saying it was normal. They would throw 11 punches and land 12 in the beginning [laughs], it was hard to escape. I got hit a lot, had headaches after every sparring, but started getting better with [managing] the distance and getting hit less, so I don’t feel that anymore.

“That’s something I said, ‘If I’m still feeling like that after the first year, my career is over. I won’t compete anymore, I won’t try.’ It was some concern I had at first, but it ended quickly.”