The United States has welcomed another group of people from the jiu-jitsu world as its citizens
Earlier today, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida shared that had finally earned his United States citizenship alongside Leonardo and Gle Vieira. Buchecha shared a photo of the trio posing proudly with their citizenship certificates, commemorating the long journey that they’d undergone to get to this point:
“It’s been 10 years already since the 20 years old kid from Katiapoa , São Vicente came to US with $1000 Dollars to compete at Worlds No Gi and supposed to go back to Brazil after the competition and start college because I thought the sport wouldn’t be a option for me to make a living of of it. Luckily or not I won the competition and become World Champion for the first time so I felt hope in the sport again, I missed my flight back home and tried to stay here, without a place to stay, without a car and a couple hundred dollars in my pocket.
That was the best choice that I have done in my life, 10 years later I became an American Citizen, I became one of the biggest competitors of my sport, saw my name in the Guinness Book as the biggest record holder of the sport, traveled around the World doing what I love , teaching and competing, met so many people and had amazing experiences. I can say I’m living the Life That I have always dreamed of.
Really happy to be sharing this moment with @leovieirabjj and Gle and watching a movie in our heads reminding us of the highs and lows during our journey until today.
Thank you So much for everything United States of America.”
Buchecha is among the most decorated jiu-jitsu athletes of all time, winning ADCC in 2013 and 2017 and holding the Guinness World Record for the most world titles in BJJ (thirteen). Leo and Gle Vieira are husband and wife, with Leo being one of the co-founders of Checkmat and one of Buchecha’s coaches, as well as a multiple-time ADCC champion.
Buchecha and the Vieiras join other notable members of the jiu-jitsu community who have recently become U.S. citizens — Hannette Staack earned the honor earlier this month, and Gui Mendes and Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes became citizens in the latter half of 2019.