Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida signs MMA contract

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend now has his first home in mixed martial arts.

Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida, a 13-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, has signed a multiyear contract with Asia's ONE Championship, manager Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN on Thursday. The 6-foot-3 Almeida, 30, will compete in the heavyweight division.

Per Abdelaziz, Almeida will debut in ONE either near the end of this year or early in 2021. He will do his training camps at Evolve MMA in Singapore, which has a relationship with ONE, also based in Singapore.

Almeida, a native of Brazil, is considered one of the top pound-for-pound Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors of all time. He announced just last week his intention to retire from BJJ gi competition and focus on mixed martial arts, which drew buzz in the MMA community due to his potential in the sport.

"Buchecha" has won a record six Brazilian jiu-jitsu world titles in the openweight category, a mark previously held by Roger Gracie (3). Almeida has also won two titles in the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) tournament.