Wow; if you’ve spent some time moving around in BJJ circles, that’s probably your reaction to this match too. Both Roger and Marcus carry massive renown in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. You could say that this match was the Aly-Frazier, or McGregor-Diaz matchup of BJJ.
Roger was awarded his black belt in 2004. Since then, he had gone on to win numerous titles and championships. Oftentimes referred to as the Greatest of All Time, there is no doubt that he is one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors of recent generations.
Marcus Almeida, or better known by the nickname Buchecha, carries just about as much renown as Mr. Gracie does. In fact, he’d beaten Roger’s absolute title record in 2016, with 5 IBJJF absolute titles under his belt.
This is the second time that they’ve met. The first match ended in a draw. Something that always happens when someone knows what they’re doing is grip fighting: no grips, no control, no control, no submission. Usually, you’d see Roger attempting footsweeps. However, probably expecting the single leg, he opts to fight for optimal grips in this case. We’d say that it was probably to his advantage that he does, because he does manage to defend two single leg attempts.
The single leg attempts
The most important thing when defending the takedown are frames. If our opponents had no arms, it’d be the easiest thing in the world to grab hold of their legs and drive them into the mat whichever way we saw fit. A variation of the throw-by, Mr. Almeida’s go-to technique, Buchecha drags the collar upward, while changing levels to go for a snatch single. Twice, Gracie defends it.
The Guard Pull
Sheesh; He made it look so easy. Roger’s go to move is taking the back from closed guard. In this case, he got the grip he wanted standing and then went for a guard pull. He grabs the belt, and pulls guard, not unlike the collar drag. He drops to his right hip, left hand gripping the belt. The guard pull made Almeida post a hand on the ground, unable to whizzer or grab a collar to stop the back take. The last time they’d met, Mr. Almeida almost got a toe hold off the reverse guard. However, this time, Gracie turns it into a leg drag and then a back take, ending the match with a back choke.