Having won his weight group and the absolute at the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds as a brown belt, Marcus “Bochecha” Almeida lived up to expectations and had a great run at black belt. His first major result came in no-gi competition, this month. Bochecha closed out the heavyweight division with João Assis and the absolute with Cyborg. Speaking with GRACIEMAG.com, the beast from the coastal São Paulo city of Santos analyzes the season coming to a close and his perspectives coming in 2011. First, though, he shows how he’s keen to the UFC 123 show coming up this Saturday.
“I’d like to wish my great friend Edson Jr. luck in his UFC debut. He’s going to kick butt!”
How do you assess your first year of competition as a black belt?
It was the best year of my life in every way. Both professionally and personally, things came together as best they could and with what I like doing: competing, training, and teaching. I did well in all the competitions, winning at weight and open weight. But I could feel the weight of the new belt, always against more experienced opponents. I feel I’m learning more and more with every competition.
What’s your aim for next year?
We’ll start 2011 in everything. Cavaca and Raphael Chaves will do a European tour. That’s why we’ll be training hard starting in January, but our main focus is the Pan, World Pro, and, of course, the Worlds.
What do you need to do to win the Worlds?
I feel that in any competition the secret is not just to train, but to know how to train properly. That’s why we’re not going to take any rest until then. I’m really anxious to see how I’ll do. I guarantee I’ll do my best and fight to win. Is winning the absolute at the 2011 Worlds already a reachable dream?
That’s for sure any Jiu-Jitsu fighter’s dream, and it’s mine too. I know that before then I’ll face loads of tough fighters, but I’ll always fight in pursuit of this dream and objective.
Will you compete again in 2010?
After the No-Gi Worlds the plan was to rest, but I’ll go to Brazil to compete at the World League. So I’ll go without rest. We’re training hard, Thiago “Baiano”, Chaves “Cabeçudinho”, and I. They will give us a lot to talk about, as will Master Cavaca, who also had a great year and will go full steam into 2011.
I’d like to thank my family the Armory, my sponsors, and the whole crew back in Santos. Without forgetting to thank, of course, GRACIEMAG.com!