The Brazilian athlete won the last missing title on his resume, ending his career on top.
Black Belt Lucas Pinheiro Wins Jiu Jitsu World Title and Retires from IBJJF Competitions The Brazilian athlete won the last missing title on his resume, ending his career on top After eight years as a black belt and hundreds of wins at the biggest Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the world, Lucas Pinheiro reached his ultimate career goal after winning a gold medal at the IBJJF Worlds on June 3 in Long Beach, California. This win was the only Black Belt title missing from his collection. To reach the top in the rooster-weight division, Pinheiro had to overcome four very tough opponents, among them Bebeto Oliveira – whom Lucas had already defeated in the semifinal of the 2023 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals in an epic fight – and the 2022 World Champion, Thalison Soares.
“Winning the Worlds at black belt is what every competitor wants in their career, and that was also my dream," said Pinheiro. “Last year, I won the No-Gi Worlds and the only thing missing was the Gi Worlds. Thank God, I made it. I beat the 2022 brown belt world champion, the 2022 Brazilian National champion, Bebeto Oliveira, who was Pan American and No-Gi world champion, and Thalison, who was the current world champion until our fight. It was wonderful to win this Worlds alongside my family, and with my Professor André Galvão there supporting me. I'm very happy and fulfilled,” stated the Atos black belt.
After winning the 2023 Worlds as well as No-Gi Worlds, No-Gi European, Pan-American and Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu titles, among others, Pinheiro decided that his time on the mat had come to an end. Despite being at the peak of his career, the Brazilian felt it was time to hang up his kimono. Pinheiro affirms that he feels a sense of accomplishment with his professional achievements and believes now is the time to consider other possibilities for his career.
“There was no better time to retire,” said Pinheiro. “I had already decided that. It was already in my heart that if I became the world champion, I would retire. I already won everything there was to win at black belt. I'm happy and fulfilled with all the titles I won, so this was the best moment, to retire at the top, as a champion. Now I'm going to focus on my family and work. I only think about teaching, see my students evolving, opening an academy, and living my life,” he explained.