Marcus Buchecha did not have a good year in 2015. The low point was the serious injury sustained at the quarterfinals of the World championship, when the ligaments of his right knee gave out.
Surgery followed and doctors told him it would be at least 12 months until he would be able to compete at the highest level again. Months of rehabilitation and would be necessary and Buchecha thought many times he would never be the same again.
Cut to this past Sunday, June 5, 2016. There are less than 30s left on the clock and Buchecha was just swept by Erberth Santos and the score is 4-4 in points and 1-1 in advantages. Buchecha will not allow the referees to decide who’s going to be the 2016 black belt open class world champion, so he sweeps right back and scores the winning two points to make the final score 6-4.
Two days later, he talked about what happened in the pyramid: “I still don’t quite realize what happened. I did something no one has ever done before. I never thought I would get this far. I have never trained to break records, but since the injury I had last year a lot of things changed in my head and in my Jiu-Jitsu. Today I think my game is more precise and I have more pressure. I am very happy and with a great felling of accomplishment. I was able to overcome all the hurdles and achieve something really unique.”
One issue in everyone’s minds when it came to Buchecha was whether he was going to be able to compete at the same level as before the injury. He proved he could, but he had to work hard to be able to do it. “The doctors told me at least a year to be back at 100%. i did everything right to be able to shorten it to 10 months. In Abu Dhabi, I was still feeling insecure, so I decided to hold back and focus on the Worlds. It worked.”
The only competitor to have four titles in the black belt open class division at the Worlds says he’s not done yet. “I have eight titles as a black belt and I am only 26. A lot of people thought I was done and that the new generation would sweep everything, but i showed that I can still compete on the highest level. My future is an unwritten book, but I believe that next year I’ll be at the Worlds once again.”