3 MMA fighters who could be Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida’s next

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu superstar Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is wasting no time in his professional mixed martial arts career.

Less than a year after making his MMA debut, the 17-time BJJ world champion earned his fourth straight victory when he submitted former ONE Interim Heavyweight world title challenger Kirill Grishenko in just 64 seconds. to ONE on Prime Video 1 on Friday, August 26. .

The win over Grishenko was the biggest of Almeida’s MMA career so far, and it has unquestionably set him up for another big opportunity in his next outing.

But who could be next for the Brazilian grappling legend? Here are three potential options.

Martin Batur

Fresh off his successful ONE Championship debut, Martin Batur’s MMA background and diverse skill set would make him a tough test for ‘Buchecha’.

At ONE 160: Ok vs. Lee II, the Croatian impressed with a first-round TKO finish of Paul Elliott after surviving an early knockdown. Batur is an 11-fight veteran, is undefeated at heavyweight and has completed all but one of his eight career wins by distance.

More importantly, the Croatian proved to be both a powerful attacker on the feet and a skilled grappler with devastating ground and pound, indicating he could rival or even threaten ‘Buchecha’ on the mat.

Amir Aliakbari

In what would be a grappling fan’s dream match, Almeida could also face Greco-Roman world champion Amir Aliakbari. The Iranian powerhouse is coming off a second-round TKO victory over Italian knockout artist Mauro Cerilli at ONE on Prime Video 1.

A veteran of 14 professional MMA fights, Aliakbari is an interesting potential opponent as he would be, by far, the most accomplished grappler “Buchecha” has faced in the sport. On paper, at least, the wrestler has the credentials to be the first man to stop Almeida’s takedowns inside the Circle.

Moreover, the Iranian has the massive frame and physique to rival the Brazilian star’s size and athleticism.

Anatoly Malikhin

Almeida and the current ONE interim world heavyweight champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin share something in common: they both just won stoppages against Grishenko.

While the Russian finished Grishenko in the second round, “Buchecha” only needed a little over a minute. That alone makes it an intriguing match.

Malykhin was expected to unify the belts with reigning ONE World Heavyweight Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar at ONE 161 later this month, but the Indian was forced to pull out of the headliner due to ‘a wound. If the Russian doesn’t want to wait too long on the sidelines, he might be able to defend his strap against Almeida.

Make no mistake, the interim heavyweight king would be a huge step up in competition for the Brazilian. But in just four MMA contests, “Buchecha” quickly proved himself to be a true elite fighter.

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