Lucas Pinheiro completed the much-desired Grand Slam of the gentle art – Brazilian, European, Pan American, and World No Gi Champion – by winning on December 13 the only title that was missing in his career. With a perfect performance, the Atos Jiu-Jitsu black belt beat all his opponents at the IBJJF No-Gi World Championship, which was held in Anaheim, CA, to win the gold medal in the adult Light-featherweight division.
"I am very happy. It took many years of hard work to achieve this goal,” said Pinheiro. “Since I moved to the USA in 2015, I had the goal of becoming a World Champion.” Pinheiro said he went through a lot on his path to victory and realized that it wasn't easy to earn a title like this one.
“When I got on the podium, it was a really good feeling,” he said. After winning, I couldn't stand it and burst into tears. It was a very happy moment, but also one of relief. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” Lucas said he was very grateful for having his family by his side to support him. “If it weren't for my wife and daughter, I wouldn't be here today," said Pinheiro.
The road to gold was not an easy one. Despite not having conceded any points throughout the championship, Pinheiro had to defeat some other top-notch athletes along the way, which made the achievement even more special. In his first fight, he beat the two-time, No-Gi World Champion: Japan’s Tomoyuki Hashimoto. Hashimoto had defeated Pinheiro three times in the past. In his second match, Pinheiro overcame American athlete Junny Ocasio, who is dedicated exclusively to no-gi competitions and also held a victory over Pinheiro. In the finals, Pinheiro defeated the 2021 No-Gi World Champion: Bebeto Oliveira.
“I had one of the best performances of my life in a competition. I was put into a very hard side of the bracket. In the quarterfinals, I faced a Caio Terra student that I had already lost three times, but this time I was able to win the match against him very well. I was very well physically and psychologically. In the semifinal, I also faced a guy I had already lost previously. A very good American athlete in the no-gi. I managed to impose my game and won by 7-0. And in the final, I faced Bebeto, a guy I respect a lot and who has won everything, too. I did my best against him and got the win. I didn't concede any points at the Worlds. In fact, in all my no-gi competitions this year, I didn't concede a single point. This is the result of how much I trained and prepared myself for these competitions”, concluded Pinheiro, the new No-Gi World Champion.