Bochecha and the art of not folding in Jiu-Jitsu

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Do you recall Marcus Vinicius “Bochecha’s” first wave-making win in Jiu-Jitsu?

The masterful guard player from team CheckMat of Santos, São Paulo, first came to the world’s attention in March 2010, while still a brown belt, thanks to a riveting final between big guys. It was a championship that, two years ago, already featured some of the main stars of the 2012 Worlds.

Take a look back at the end of an article about the Rio de Janeiro tryouts for the Abu Dhabi pro championship, and see how Bochecha was already cultivating his greatest quality as a fighter: never fold or surrender to the tyranny of the ticking clock.

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Under-92 kg: Bunk knee, good head

The reigning heavyweight champion of Abu Dhabi, Rodolfo Vieira defeated Bráulio Estima last year, and even that didn’t soften the hearts of the sheiks and organizers. After losing to Alex Ceconi in the final of the tryouts in Gramado, Rodolfo had to take on Léo Nogueira of team Alliance, Antonio Braga Neto of team Gordo and Alexandre Souza of Gracie Floripa all on the same day. To make matters worse, Vieira saw Souza land on his knee one minute into their match.

‘These guys love me; all they give me is tough opponents. I thought this year they’d make things easier on me, but nope,’ he said with a laugh. It was an anthological conquest for Rodolfo, who tapped Braga Neto out with a neck hold and in the final overcame Souza by judges’ decision, after drawing on advantage points. The contest was neck and neck, but the judges had no doubt about it: 2 to 1 for the GFTeam ace, who this morning went to the hospital to check on his knee.

Over-92 kg: A brown belt makes it

The level being as high as it was this weekend, it seemed unlikely a brown belt would blast through the barricade and earn a spot in Abu Dhabi. In the over-92 kg division, for example, the firm favorite was Augusto Ferrari, a Barbosa student who popularized the “jegueplata,” an odd yet efficient submission hold.

At the other end of the bracket, though, guard specialist Marcus de Almeida, aka Bochecha (he signs by ‘Buchecha’) was tearing up the ranks. On GRACIEMAG.com that Saturday, a reader warned: ‘You guys aren’t talking about Bochecha? You’ll be talking about him after the competition!’ And the prophecy couldn’t have come more true: trailing by three advantage points in the final, the Rodrigo Cavaca student rallied back against Ferrari with just 15 seconds left, pulling off an interesting maneuver that saw him take the back. The final whistle was the cue for Bochecha to break into tears, providing a sensational golden ending to the tryouts.”

That was back in 2010! Check out the full article here, and let us know: What to you is the greatest quality a Jiu-Jitsu fighter can have? And watch that match:

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