IBJJF European Jiu-Jitsu Championships
World Champions Set To Collide In Lisbon!
On January 14-20th, in Lisbon, Portugal, the IBJJF will be hosting their European Jiu-Jitsu Championships. This will be the 16th IBJJF European Championships. This event is considered one of the most important events for the IBJJF year, and is considered one of the “Grand Slam” events. The other events which are part of the “Grand Slam” are the Pans, Brazilian Nationals, and Worlds. Additionally, this is one of the biggest IBJJF tournaments- in 2018 there were over 4,000 registered competitors from over 70 countries.
Similar to past years, this year will have a many BJJ stars and world champs vying for the prestigious title. For the men’s division, in the Featherweight class, Paulo Miyao, 2016 World Champion will be competing. In the Lightweight division, Lucas Lepri- six time World Champion will be headlining. In the Middleweight, current 2018 World Champion Isaque Bahiense and Otavio Sousa, World Champion in 2012, 2013, and 2016 will be competing. For the Adult Male Medium-Heavy, Claudio Calasans (2015 Champion), Lucas Barbosa (2018 Champion) and Gustavo Batista (2018 Champion) round out the group of World Champions.
Just like the Men's divisions, there are many Black Belt Female World Champions competing as well. Ana Carolina Schmitt (2017) will be competing in the Featherweight division, Luiza Monteiro (2015, 2017) and Claudia Doval (2017, 2018) will be vying for the Medium Heavyweight division, and Nathiely de Jesus, the 2017, and 2018 World Champion will be competing in the Heavyweight division
Lucas Lepri surprised the lightweight division, as waited until the last second to register for the Europeans. Lucas is one of the most successful competitors in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu's lightweight division. This will be the first time he has competed at the Europeans since 2012, when he won his division by closing it out with fellow Alliance teammate Michael Langhi.
Lucas was born on September 19, 1984 in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. As a child and teenager, Lucas played and competed in many sports including Indoor Soccer, Judo, Swimming and Capoeira. Lucas became interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, when he saw a Brazilian MTV program featuring the BJJ training routine of World Champion Fernando "Margarida" Pontes. After watching the program in 2000, he joined Elan Santiago's academy. From there, when Elan switching his BJJ affiliation from Brazilian Top Team (BTT) to Fernando Terere's TT Team, Lucas also went to train at the famed TT team until 2004/2005 when the academy closed down. At that point, Lucas Lepri, along with his coach Elan Santiago became affiliated with Alliance academy.
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Black Belt World Champion in his First Year as a Black Belt
In 2006, Lucas received a silver medal in the IBJJF World Championships . Later that year, he was award his black belt. As a black belt, he surprised the BJJ world by winning his first Black Belt World Championships in his first year competing in that belt division. In that tournament, he defeated multiple time world champ (2005, 2006, 2008) Celso Vinicius by kneebar in the semifinals, and Michel Maia by baseball choke in the finals. Incredibly, Lucas did not win another Gold Medal at the IBJJF World Championships until 2014, when he won every major tournament (including the CBJJ Brazilian National Championships, and the IBJJF Pan American Championships) he entered- including the 2014 World Championships. After, he has gone on to win five more IBJJF World Championship titles, making a total of 6 World Championships as a Black Belt. He is the present Lightweight World Champion, winning the title in 2018 at the age of 33. In that tournament, he defeated Athos Ribeiro (bow and arrow), Matheus Costa (Choke from omoplata), Jake Mackenzie (choke), Espen Mathiesen (by 0-0, Advantage), and Renato Canuto in the finals by 4-0 points.
Black Belt Titles:
As a black belt, he has won the following titles:
- IBJJF World Champion (2007/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018)
- IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2009/2010/2011)
- UAEJJF World Pro Champion (2015)
- CBJJ Brazilian National Champion (2014)
- IBJJF Pan American Champion (2009/2011/2013/2014/2017)
- IBJJF European Champion (2011)
- IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Champion (2009)
- ADCC Runner-up (2017/2015)
- IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (2007/2012)
- IBJJF World No-Gi Championship Runner-up (2008)
- IBJJF Pan American Championship Runner-up (2008/2012)
- Deep X Champion (2007)
Moves to USA to Teach
In 2008, Lucas moved to New York City to teach at the Alliance NYC academy and taught there for three years before moving to Atlanta, Georgia to teach at the Alliance US headquarters for two more years alongside Romero "Jacare" Calvalcanti. He has since moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and opened up his successful Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness academy.
Nathiely de Jesus - Women's World Champion
In the women's divisions for this year's IBJJF Europeans, there are also a handful of past and present IBJJF World Champions. In the heavyweight division, Brazil's Nathiely de Jesus will attempt to add another gold medal to her stellar competition run of the last few years. She is the current IBJJF World Champion in the Gi and in the no Gi, as well as the current IBJJF Pan American Champion. As a black belt, she has already won a number of Black Belt titles:
Black Belt Titles:
- IBJJF World Champion (2018 / 2017)
- IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2018 / 2016**)
- IBJJF Pan American Champion (2018)
- IBJJF American Nationals Champion (2016**)
- UAEJJF Grand Slam – Rio de Janeiro Champion (2016)
- UAEJJF Grand Slam – Abu Dhabi Champion (2017)
- IBJJF Rio Fall International Open Champion (2017)
- IBJJF World Championship 2nd Place (2018*)
Nathiely de Jesus Biography
Nathiely was born on February 10, 1996 in Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil. As a teenager, she struggled with bronchitis, and a doctor suggested that she begin a vigorous physical activity to help out her condition.
At the doctor's suggestion, her parents enrolled judo, and then a year later she began training Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu at coach Claudio Felix's academy in Sao Paulo. At this academy, Nathiely became an avid jiu jitsu competitor, competing in her first competition after only 3 months of training. She earner her earned her blue and purple belts from Felix, and was able to win a number of tounaments at both blue and purple belt. However, in late 2013, she visited her boyfriend, Manuel Ribamar (another highly accomplished current black belt competitor) gym, the famed Cicero Costha's gym (academy where world champions such as Leandro Lo, Miyao brother's, and Luiza Monteiro trained at). After a series of "eye opening" training sessions, Nathiely decided to officially join the gym in January of 2014.
At the famed Cicero Costha gym (Projeto Social Lutando Pelo Bem, or PSLPB for short) , her competition success skyrocketed. As a purple belt, she won championship titles in the Brazilian Nationals, Pan Americans, and the Worlds. As a brown belt, she was even more successful, as she won double gold (weight class and absolute) at the IBJJF World Championships, and she was promoted on the podium (June 3, 2016) by Cicero Costha.