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Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa has proven he can win in any format. Gi or no-gi, sub-only, IBJJF, or any other ruleset, Hulk has been successful on every stage. Across all styles, Hulk has accumulated an 82-percent win rate since earning his black belt in 2015.
Undeniably, though, he’s been most successful in IBJJF no-gi competition. In that format, he holds a record of 29-1. Since 2015, his only loss in an IBJJF sanctioned no-gi match came against Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu at the IBJJF Heavyweight Grand Prix last year. He lost that match by a single penalty.
Hulk has won No-Gi Worlds every time he’s tried. He won his weight division in 2015 and again in 2016; he won double-gold in 2017, claiming five of his six victories via submission.
Watch: Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa 2017 No-Gi Worlds Supercut
This year’s 2020 No-Gi Pans on November 21-22 will be Hulk’s first attempt at that tournament. He must be considered a favorite in his heavyweight division, which currently has 14 total registrants.
As it currently stands, here is how the division stacks up:
|Alliance Charlotte||Giancarlo Bodoni|
|Atos Jiu-Jitsu||Lucas Daniel Silva Barbosa|
|Atos Jiu-Jitsu||Rafael Vasconcelos de Lima|
|Atos JJ International||Nisar Amin Loynab|
|Bill Scott BJJ Shore Academy||James Richard Brasco|
|Brazilian Top Team||Diego Gamonal Nogueira|
|Brazilian Top Team||Gilvan Gomes da Costa|
|Bruno Bastos Association||Yuri Allison P. dos Santos|
|Fight Sports||Aaron Michael Johnson|
|Gracie Barra Amazonas||Victor César Braz da Silva|
|Gracie Barra Texas||Joseph C. Watson|
|Gracie Barra Westchase||Inacio Ferreira Gomes Neto|
|KMR BJJ Kimura International||Horlando de Jesus Monteiro|
|ZR Team California||Lucas Rocha de Freitas|
If he takes gold at No-Gi Pans this year, he’ll join a short list of ADCC medalists who have also won both No-Gi Pans and No-Gi Worlds.
He will probably also register for the open-weight division, where he would likely be the no. 1 seed due to his accolades.
Hulk has not competed in an IBJJF event since the grand prix last year, but he’s remained active through the remainder of 2019 and throughout 2020. He took third at ADCC in 2019 and took second in both the BJJ Fanatics Grand Prix and Kasai Pro 7.
Most recently, he helped deliver Team Atos to victory at Subversiv 4, where he was the only competitor in the event to collect four wins. He looked dominant against Team New York’s Oliver Taza in the semifinals and against Team Level Black’s William Tackett in the finals, putting his aggressive passing style on display in both matches.
Watch: Lucas Barbosa vs William Tackett at Subversiv 4
He will look to carry that momentum into No-Gi Pans later this month with hopes of returning to his near-unbeatable form.