It was the first time they were face to face with each other.
The black belt open class semifinal at the 2011 Worlds put Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus Buchecha to clash for a place in the final.
In an exclusive interview for GRACIEMAG #208, Buchecha told us what happened to him the months before that Worlds.
“After I got my black belt at the end of 2010, I moved to Florida to teach and ended up without the proper training partners. I tried to correct that with a month and a half of training before the Worlds, but that didn’t work out and I ended up being submitted by Rodolfo and losing to Leo Nogueira in my weight class”.
Buchecha also talked about what the match taught him in terms of technique and strategy to face Rodolfo after 2011.
“That match taught me that half guard does not work against him. He will pass. I learned that even with the half guard being my strongest position on the bottom. From that moment on, I knew that I had to try a different game against him and that’s what I did.”
Also on that topic, Buchecha revealed that losing to Rodolfo that day, made him sincerely consider changing careers.
“After the 2011 Worlds, I seriously thought of stop competing. For two months after that, i would only teach classes and hardly roll or train. I even went after a college course to apply to. Weeks before I was supposed to start classes, a competition in Brasília came up and I was able to win the open class and see that my drive to compete was still there. ”
Rodolfo also remembers a lot about that match.
First of all, he was glad that the video was finally made available: “I just saw it. Thanks God, before we only had the ones he beat me!”
“I remember I was very nervous and despite being slightly more experienced than him, I knew he was a very tough guy that was arriving in the black belt division. The match was very tough and I could only get my points at the very end, what led to the armbar.”
Rodolfo also talked about the meaning of that victory: “It was very important because it was so hard to achieve. I remember that at one point he landed me hard on my head and my right side was completely numb. So bad that I thought of stoping the fight, but once it was a open class semifinal, I decided to press on and was alble to win.”
Looking back and thinking ahead, Rodolfo talks about what he can get from that match to defeat Buchecha again: “Almost all our matches are being decided by details. I think that today, which one that goes on top has more chances to win. He is great on top and so am I, so I think that’s the way to win. In the last match, at the 2014 Worlds, I think I lacked training in the stand up game. I was not training judo as much as i was supposed to and I mean to correct that.”
After reading what the protagonists had to say about that match, take a look on the fight again.