Buchecha extols Leandro Lo, details injury prior to IBJJF GP final

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Buchecha was deemed better in the final vs. Lo by the judges. Gabriel Mendez

The record holder for titles won in BJJ world championships, last weekend Marcus Buchecha again paraded his technique, eventually beating the field of the IBJJF Pro League Heavyweight GP.

To get there, the surfing aficionado fought and won three matches against strong heavyweights hand-picked by the organization of the invitational tourney — including the final against Leandro Lo.

Graciemag caught up with Buchecha after the competition. Read on for the interview.

GRACIEMAG.com: Analyze the tournament and your path to the title, please.

MARCUS BUCHECHA: I started with two really hard fights. The first was against Dimitrius Souza, a guy who’s been winning everything in Brazil, fights well in competitions and has a very strong guard. We had never fought, so it was different — I didn’t know much of his game, and I won by three advantages.

The second one was with João Gabriel. I played better against him, the way I like to. I got my takedowns in and loosened up more. I took the back, and, when he tried to sweep, he exposed himself a bit and gave me space to finish on the foot.

How was it to face Lo, a friend and rival, in a final once more?

He’s a great brother, and we did a very tough fight. It was a fair draw — the judges could have given it to either one, but they thought I had it. I was very happy, but the title could have gone either way.

Your dad also won a title on the same weekend at the World Master Championship. How did you feel being there?

It was special to me. Instead of it being me on the mat throwing down, he fought and I played coach, shouting instructions. Last time I had seen my dad compete was in 2005 — he was a blue-belt, and I a yellow-belt. He usually isn’t at my competitions these days, for they’re mostly abroad. This time it was incredible. I didn’t know whether he was going to listen to me, but he heard me, trusted me and did great. We trained a bit before his turn to fight, and it was very cool. He dealt a good takedown, put a knee on the belly, and scored the points — ultra-heavyweight master 6 champion. It was a perfect weekend.

What have you got planned for the remainder of the year?

I had a little lesion during the fight with João Gabriel — which got in my way when fighting in the final. João attempted a seoi takedown, and I fell wrong, hit my elbow on the hip — but it was just muscular, not on the rib. A few days treating it, and it should be good as new.

Now it’s all about the ADCC. At the start of a year, I lay out my complete schedule, and with the ADCC there will be five competitions in 2017. The ADCC is the last of them, and I will be there. I will train with Leozinho Vieira. There’s nobody better than him to train no-gi with, especially with his momentum given that he will be there to fight as well, against Chael Sonnen, in the superfight. Checkmat is looking good competition-wise, with Luiz Panza and João Assis too. We’re taking it by storm.

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