Around this time 3 years ago Luccas Lira was unknown to the grappling community. Today he is widely recognized as one of the leading jiu-jitsu athletes of his generation.
Starting out his sporting career from his hometown of João Pessoa (the capital of the Paraíba state in Brazil), Lira went through an array of competitive activities before he found his calling for jiu-jitsu back in 2015. According to Luccas, the match between Luccas and grappling was purely coincidental, as he told BJJ Heroes in an interview back in February 2022:
“I started [BJJ] because they had mats on the second floor of the gym where I used to lift weights. One day I went there and tried a class.”
Lira started training with coach Carlos Augusto, also known as “Zau”, who is himself a student of Bob Esponja and a member of Halavanca, a well-known jiu-jitsu school in the region.
Although Lucas had positive competitive results almost immediately, becoming a pro-athlete was far from Luccas’ mind early on. That seed of thought was planted a couple of years later.
As a blue belt, Luccas’ international career started shaping up through a South American title (2018), which galvanized Lira to push forward with his competitive aspirations. That same year, the young Paraíba native competed at the World Pro Championships in Abu Dhabi against one of team Fight Sports’ rising stars, Felipe Porto. Lira and Porto became friends after the match, so much so that Felipe invited Luccas to a training camp with his team in Miami Florida ahead of the IBJJF World Championships the following year, an offer accepted by Lira.
The experience at Fight Sports in Miami only further enhanced Lira’s love for the sport, and after earning a 3rd Place at the famous Mundial, Luccas opted to remain under Roberto Abreu’s wing and become a FS squad member. Later that year, another groundbreaking moment for the young athlete, his first World No-Gi title. “When I won double gold at IBJJF No-Gi Worlds (2019) that made me understand that I was really good and that if I dedicated my life to it I would be one of the big names in the sport. Also winning World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi and earning 4.000$ made me know I was pretty good.”
“Pretty good” is definitely an understatement from the young athlete who just turned 24 in January. Since his purple belt days back in 2021, Lira has rampted up his career by shifting his focus to no-gi jiu-jitsu with two recent attempts at the ADCC Trials, losing both to the division’s winners and well established black belts. The first in the quarter-finals (by decision) and the second trials tournament in the final, cementing his claim to being one of the top light-heavyweight grapplers in the world right now, despite his current brown belt status.
His 8 match performance at the ADCC Trials may earn him an invite to the big show in September, time will tell if he swayed the organization’s promoters. That aside, one thing is certain, Lira will be a name to remember in this sport.