Dan Faggella is a BJJ Pan Am Champion and writer for BJJ.ORG, Jiu Jitsu Magazine, and more. His focus is the study of world class athletes. You can visit the linked page here to get your hands on Videos / insight from World Champion Marchus “Buchech” himself.
– – –
For a young grappler, there is a certain point in your career in which you have to prove your worth. No matter how many medals you have to your name, or how many tournaments you conquered, you must prove it wasn’t a flash in the pan by winning against a big name.
2013 IBJJF Pan Am Finals…
For the young Marcus Almeida, 2012 was a dream year. Highlighted by his double gold performance at the World Championships, there was little Almeida could do to out rank that impeccable showing. His unbelievable performance against Roger gracie also landed him all over the blogosphere overnight – including this post on ChubeJitsu, Bloody Elbow and elsewhere. However, not looking to outdo his 2012 run, Almeida had to validate himself as a truly elite grappler.
Luckily for Almeida, he had his opportunity to do just that at the 2013 Pan American games when he took on the highly respect Andre Galvao. With his chance to assert himself amongst the upper echelon of the BJJ world, Almeida did not disappoint.
Head Hunting Against The Grappling Greats
It’s one thing to go on an impressive run, but it’s another when you begin adding names that hold weight to your list of victims. When Almeida stepped on the mat with Andre Galvao, he knew he wasn’t going to face a slouch.
A seasoned veteran, Galvao is no stranger to the inner-circle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With Gold Medals in the World Cup, Pan Ams, World Championships and Abu Dhabi, Galvao is a truly dangerous threat to a young buck such as Marcus Almeida.
The 2nd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt also has seven Mixed Martial Arts fights to his name. Given the depth of his talent, Galvao has spent time all over the world training with the best of the best; Atos Jiu Jitsu, Black House, Wand Fight Team, Brazilian Top Team, Team Nogueira. To say the very least, that’s an impressive laundry list of associations Galvao has under his belt.
Bigger, Faster, Stronger – Marcus Almeida’s Jiu Jitsu
Every time I watch a clip of Almeida grappling, I’m amazed as to how large he really is. Normally, we tend to think of elite BJJ players as smaller, quicker and more compact. Yet with Almeida, the mold is broken. A tall, lurking figure, Almeida defies logic when it comes to his skills.
His frame allows him to assert his physical dominance over his opponents—just like he did Galvao—however, for a man of his stature, his speed is uncanny. While watching this match, Almeida began transitioning so smoothly and quickly, that I thought the video had been altered and sped up.
His long legs allow him to be dangerous from any position. Late in his match with Galvao, Marcus was stuck in bottom guard. Throwing up his legs—utilizing them to create space—Marcus was able to sweep Galvao and gain the dominant position.
Marcus would go on to out-point Galvao to win the match.
The blending of elite skills and his God given size, Marcus Almeida has only just begun to take over the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Can’t wait until the world’s!