Lúcio Lagarto is overjoyed with the berth he earned in the main event by winning the Portuguese World Pro tryouts on the 15th of this month in Lisbon. He defeated Alan “Finfou” Nascimento in the absolute final and took home $4,000. Living in London, England, for the last year and a half, Lúcio has been training hard with Roger Gracie and is focused on his preparations for the European Open, which will take place next weekend.
The black belt intends to put on a show in the United Arab Emirates, but also wants gold at the IBJJF World Championship. Check out the conversation with the beast, who besides being a winner on the mats, spent six months fighting cancer until he won. “If I win the Worlds I’ll be considered the Lance Armstrong of Jiu-Jitsu,” jokes the champion, referring to the multiple-time Tour de France who also overcame cancer.
The following interview was sent in by collaborator Valmir Silva:
What’s your assessment of your performance at the tryouts?
Even with the injuries, I was very pleased with it. I was feeling a lot of pain in my knee, I injured it in my second match in the weight group. I was in pain until the end of the event. I don’t remember the names of my opponents, but all of them were strong; I was lucky to get the finish in most of my matches. The final against Alan “Finfou” was brutal, as I was fighting him and myself at the same time. I could hardly walk, but God enlightened me once again.
How is life in London?
I lived in Manchester, Northeastern England, for two years, and I’ve already been in London for a year and a half now. I decided to train with Roger Gracie and thus improve my Jiu-JItsu. It was the best thing I’d ever done.
What are your preparations like and what’s it like training with the greatest champion of all times, Roger Gracie?
I split my training up. I do three hard training sessions and another three more technical and specific sessions per week. On the less grueling days, I do physical conditioning, but other than that, I train the whole day teaching private lessons. And as for Roger, man… The guy knows all kinds of things. I learn more and more with every day. He’s at a whole different level. I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn every day. Now regarding physical conditioning, I’m doing a lot of stretching and gínástica natural with my coach Fábio Prado.
What does the rest of your year look like, you said you really want the world title?
I want to compete in everything. My objective is to throw myself to the lions (laughs). The greatest challenge is to get my visa and show up well for the Worlds. I want to be the champ, then I’ll be the Lance Armstrong of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! I’m certain then I’d be a source of inspiration to a lot of lives in our sport.
You are already an inspiration for having beat cancer. What message do you have for us?
I have a lot of faith in Jesus Christ. Only he can be our guiding light. Only he will be with us at every moment in life. There are times of sadness, indecision and anguish, but when you believe in him, he always shows you the best path to take. But of course, we have to be strong of will and dedication, as nothing will just fall from the sky.