Five years after their first encounter, which ended in a draw after 20 minutes, Marcus Buchecha and Roger Gracie will again collide in the gi. The fight is scheduled to take place July 23rd in Rio de Janeiro, at Gracie Pro Jiu-Jitsu.
Graciemag caught up with Buchecha to get his thoughts on the historic duels. “It was a unique opportunity to face Roger Gracie at Metamoris, because he had already announced his retirement from competition,” he said of the 2012 fight. “So I thought that was going to be my last opportunity to fight an idol. The fight was very good. It was a long, 20-minute combat, but I fought really well. I had good moments in the fight. It was a match where only a submission could give someone the win, so we weren’t really concerned with scoring. Because of that, there were moments where I was able to risk more. I had a good chance on the foot, at the end I had another opportunity on the arm… I did everything right with that armbar, but he defended very well. It’s no accident that he is considered the greatest of all time.”
Back then, Gracie was a three-time absolute world champion — the first in history, — and Buchecha had just won his first world championship. This time, Buchecha will step on the mat as the biggest name in the sport. “This rematch will be really cool,” Buchecha says. “It is another opportunity to fight against a guy of Roger’s caliber. This time the fight will be ten minutes, under normal rules.”
He adds: “It’s not easy to train for a fight with Roger Gracie. There is nobody else with jiu-jitsu like his, and, because of his body type, it is very hard to find partners with the same game and the same height. It’s pretty complicated. But I have great sparring partners and I will keep up the pace from my preparation for the Worlds for this superfight, to get there very well prepared.”