The World Jiu-Jitsu quarrel heated up Long Beach, Calif., at the beginning of June. In the lightweight division, Lucas Lepri won the championship again after a long wait of seven years. Lucas conquered his first world title at black belt in 2007.
To conquer the IBJJF gold medal, Lucas had to win five matches in his weight division and to overcome the psychological side of competing in the Worlds. In the final match, the Alliance athlete outscored JT Torres by 12-0, with guard passes and one takedown.
In a conversation with GRACIEMAG, Lucas spoke of the conquest, examined what helped him to win and earn the second World tittle of his career. He detailed his guard passes over JT and commented the moment that most caught his attention at the tournament. Check it out!
GRACIEMAG: Lucas, how did you overcome seven years of fasting after winning your first world in 2007?
Lucas Lepri: I won my first world title in 2007. It was the first year of my black belt, and I realized the dream of every athlete. In 2008 I moved to the United States, but continued to train with the same intensity and dedication. If I recap since 2007, I can say I’ve always been on the podium. In 2008 I was second place, 2010 third, 2012 second again, and third in 2013. For seven years I was hitting the “lock” for a few mistakes, but knowing that I was capable of winning the title again. I always dedicate myself to the fullest in my training and I have a very intense physical training with my trainer Kevin Paretti. I can say that what really made the difference this time was working my psychological side. I was very confident in the technical, physical and mental part. I managed to deliver my Jiu-Jitsu just like I did in 2007, and therefore, I had a good performance. The result could not be different.
What was the secret to pass JT’s guard at the end of the lightweight?
Whenever we find ourselves in a major championship, our matches are always a battle. It is always a pleasure to have JT as an opponent. About the fight, I passed guard crossing the knee, one of my favorite techniques! JT is a very explosive athlete and quite technical. He has a very strong grip, so I tried not to let him do the grips and get comfortable in the game.
What moment caught your attention the most during the Worlds, Lepri?
The women’s featherweight final match. The fight between Michelle Nicolini and Tammi Musumeci, recently graduated black belt. No doubt the desire and thirst to win that Tammi displayed against Nicolini was awesome. It was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen.
And how is your schedule?
After taking a few days off, I go back to my routine of classes and seminars. My main goal now is to open my gym in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a dream come true.