Four-time absolute world champion Marcus Buchecha has a full schedule for 2017. After finishing a series of seminars all over the world, he went back to California and went into competitive grappling mode. The first of his appointments is a superfight versus American Rafael Lovato Jr. at the ADCC’s West Coast Trials, slated for April 15 in Anaheim, Calif.
“The expectation for this fight with Rafael Lovato is very good,” Buchecha says. “We have never faced each other, gi or no gi. In my opinion, he is the greatest American fighter in BJJ history, the only to have won a world title in gi and no-gi, as well as having done a great career in the ADCC.”
A representative of Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu, of Xande and Saulo Ribeiro, Lovato was the second non-Brazilian to ever become a world champion, in 2007. The American also conquered other important titles on the mats and has been doing well in MMA, having recently debuted at Bellator with a win.
“He is a high-level athlete,” Buchecha says, “a guy I respect a bunch, and that motivates me. I’m training hard for this fight. The year will be a packed one. [Checkmat leader] Leo Vieira has a lot of no-gi experience and has been helping me a lot in my training.”
After appearing in the Trials, Buchecha will compete in June’s IBJJF World Championship, August’s IBJJF Pro League Heavyweight GP and September’s ADCC.