Twenty-seven-year-old Marcus “Buchecha” Vinicius reached a record-setting five absolute titles in IBJJF World Championships with his campaign in the 2017 edition, which ended last Sunday.
This week, Graciemag got to talk to the world’s best BJJ fighter from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Read on for the interview.
GRACIEMAG: You and Lo ended the absolute final last Sunday in a state of complete exhaustion, each one fallen to one side. How do you feel now?
MARCUS BUCHECHA: I’m still recovering from the battle on the weekend. There were several wars, but thank God I managed to conquer another two world titles. Now I have ten, adding up the absolute ones and the ones from my weight division. I’m very happy! It hasn’t properly sunk in yet. I haven’t yet been able to realize what I have achieved in this sport. But I’m thrilled.
Is there a little movie playing in your head?
Exactly. I have now achieved a feat I never thought possible when I started out in the sport. When I bought my first magazine, I remember Pé de Pano and Roger Gracie were the big names in BJJ. They were my first idols, and having reached the record of Roger, the first one to have ten world titles, is a feat I still can’t describe. All I know is that it’s something grand to reach in the sport.
How do you deal with this pressure of being the man to beat?
The occasion where I felt the most pressure was in 2015, when for the first time I had the opportunity to surpass Roger in absolute titles. I was a three-time absolute champion, like him. And it was precisely the year where I felt the most pressure in my life as a competitor — and, as a consequence, I wound up getting seriously hurt on my knee. But, after that, everything changed for the better. My mind changed a great deal there; I matured plenty, and that has helped me conquer the following titles.
What did you and Lo talk about before the absolute final last Sunday?
Lo is a great friend that BJJ gave me. And, in my opinion, he is the world’s greatest fighter today. He has been making history, winning titles in several different weight classes. Everybody has to respect what he’s been doing in the sport. I already knew this final with him would be the hardest match in the championship. I wasn’t wrong. It was a war! We talked before the fight and agreed to go at it hard. I think our friendship did not interfere in the fight in the slightest. Everyone was after the same dream. It was an extremely tough final, practically a draw — 2 to 2 on points and 1 to 1 on advantages, — but I won by one penalty, when he landed off the fight area. It was a big dream come true.
And who stood out in your weight class?
The final with Gustavo Dias was another very hard fight. But I managed to walk away with the win also. I believe I can only thank everybody who helped me all this time with training; the friends and supporters who send me good vibes, who root for me from near or far. Thank you all for everything! And let’s keep moving, because it’s not over yet. The year is just starting, and there’s the ADCC in the second semester.