Beyond the Mat

At the IBJJF 2018 World Championships in Long Beach, California, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida emerged victorious and added another thrilling chapter to his story. However, Marcus Buchecha passes up a possible 12th career World gold medal and closes out the absolute final with his friend Leandro Lo.

Lo injured his shoulder in his super-heavyweight final match with Mahamed Aly, suffering two inferior dislocations within a few minutes apart from each other. The shoulder was put back in place by the medics both times, but the injury was too much for Lo to continue and Aly was declare the default winner. 

When it was time for the absolute final, everyone thought that Buchecha would claim his 12th title as he would be awarded the automatic winner. With his arm tucked in his gi and packed with ice, Lo walked onto the mat with Buchecha. Nobody knew what would happen, but the referee raised Lo’s hand. Buchecha decided to give Lo a present that will remain on his resume forever, that of absolute champion. At the end of the day it was an act of friendship that reminds us that jiu-jitsu is truly about more than competition and titles.

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