Marcus Buchecha entered the 2015 Worlds, one year ago, with hopes to achieve what no other athlete had ever achieved, not even Roger Gracie.
If he had won the black belt open class division, he would had become the only competitor to win it four times, in his case four times in a row.
Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a dream, quickly became a nightmare when an ill-fated sweep by Ricardo Evangelista in the quarterfinals unintentionally twisted Buchecha’s right knee causing a ligament injury that required surgery and a long recovery.
As we approach the 2016 Worlds, Buchecha is feeling ready to finally get back in the game. The return could have happened at the 2016 WPJJC, but Buchecha followed Leo Vieira’s advice and pulled out at the last moment.
Two months later, we caught up with Buchecha during his final stages of training for the four days in Long Beach. Here’s what he had to say.
GRACIEMAG.COM: When you decided to pull out the WPJJC you said you didn’t want to fight not feeling completely confident in your game. Two months later, how is your mindset to compete again and try the fourth open class title?
Marcus Buchecha: Actually, I felt great physically at the WPJJC, but there’s a big difference in being 100% physically and 100% mentally. I knew I was not ready in my mindset, so I had to work that out, despite wanting to fight in Abu Dhabi. That’s why I followed Leozinho’s decision to pull out. It was more his decision than mine, but I agreed. Now, I feel 100% ready to compete at the Worlds and once again do what I love and be happy about it.
GRACIEMAG.COM: The 2016 Worlds will be your return to competitions after 12 months, which included a knee surgery and recovery. How are you feeling physically to get back in the game? How’s your training going?
It was a pretty serious injury and I have done everything I had to do to be back at 100% of my capacity. That’s exactly how I feel now, ready to go back to he competition circuit. I guess what I needed was to feel my body ready to regain my motivation.
GRACIEMAG.COM: Bernardo Faria, Felipe Pena, Erberth Santos, Mahamed Aly, Alex Trans, Galvão, etc. The black belt division is pointing out to be one of the toughest in recent years. Does the quality of the opponents shape in any way the way you build your training routine?
The open class has never been easy since the beginning of the world championships. It’s always been as tough as it can be. I have never trained thinking about opponents and I’m not doing that now. I worry about my game and what i will try to do during my matches. I can’t wait to be back at the pyramid and do what i love to do.
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The deadline is May 24.
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