Lucas Hulk, absolute champion, on strategy used at No-Gi Worlds

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Lucas Hulk was dominant at the No-Gi Worlds. IBJJF

Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa is currently the best male athlete in no-gi under the IBJJF, following six wins (with five submissions) at the No-Gi Worlds, which concluded last weekend in California.

Under the stare of André Galvão, whose job it was to instruct him during the matches, Barbosa bagged two gold medals. First he won it all at super-heavyweight as he finished the tough João Assis on the north-south. Before that, he had submitted Eliot Kelly via kimura and James Brasco with the same technique used in the final.

“I’ve been working hard on that north-south choke,” Hulk said. “I think the trick is to adjust the position there on the bicep and throw the hip to the side to be able to get a good finish — it’s gotta be always tight there.”

A few hours after the end of his super-heavyweight run, Hulk confirmed he would be fighting in the absolute division. The gold decider there put him face to face with João Gabriel Rocha. With a well-thought-out strategy, Hulk took Rocha down, dominated the fight and became the new absolute champion.

Wiping off the sweat that earned him the spot at the top of the podium, Hulk talked about his fourth world no-gi title since 2015. “It’s hard to believe my name is there, in jiu-jitsu history, as a champion in my weight division and in the absolute,” he said. “It’s a title that every fighter wants to have. I was already happy with my title in my weight division, but the absolute tastes even better. Being a double champion of one of the biggest tournaments in the world is really incredible.”

Hulk added: “Looking back and seeing where I’ve arrived is incredible. To me, this means a lot, because, after all these years dedicated to this journey, I can see it paid off. A guy from a small town winning the biggest tournament in the world is gratifying. I hope to outdo myself in this way and to continue to write my name in history, so that everyone can remember my name.”

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