‘Buchecha! Buchecha! Buchecha!’, if you’ve seen any of Marcus Almeida’s matches that’s what’ll crash into your ears. A well-established competitor and even considered by some as the greatest of all time Marcus Buchecha’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game is a thing to behold.
Nicholas Meregali, a newcomer to the black belt division, is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. Having fought and come out on top against some of the greatest names in Jiu-Jitsu, such as Xande Ribeiro, this was a match that was met with a great deal of anticipation.
Buchecha’s game so far has revolved around the single leg takedown, half-guard sweeps and rather dextrous passes for a heavyweight. We’ll not be seeing the takedown game in this match however because Meregali’s game is primarily based on open guard sweeps and lapel chokes.
Two sweeps and a Pass
The match was a point win for Mr. Buchecha. We’ll go ahead and assume that experience and better cardio have played a large part in deciding the outcome. And it’s not just a physical thing. If you’ve been to a couple of tournaments you’ve probably felt the effect that fatigue has on your gauging capabilities. Legs can’t follow the opponent. The mind feels sluggish. Bottom line is: you either fight through this or not. Meregali didn’t.
The first 2 points went to Mr. Meregali. He sweeps with the De La Riva hook to get on top. Possibly due to unfamiliarity with the effectiveness of the half-guard he’s swept with the plan B sweep. After some guard engagement Buchecha passes during the transition to win the match. Perhaps if Meregali had based out with his left leg he might have gotten on top. But remember, this is a match of wills. Buchecha’s experience and ability to recognize opportunity got him the win.