Top BJJ competitor Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa will make his long-awaited return to MMA on Friday, August 5, when he takes on Elmar Umarov at Professional Fighters League (PFL) 7. It will be Barbosa’s first MMA fight in a decade.
Barbosa’s fight is a qualifier fight for the PFL Challenger Series, in which up-and-coming fighters compete for a spot in the PFL regular season. Regular season PFL fighters compete for a spot in the post-season playoffs and a chance to win $1 million.
A black belt since 2015, Barbosa represents one of the best jiu-jitsu players in the world to make the crossover to MMA. He is a two-time IBJJF world champion in the gi and a fourt-time no-gi world champion. Barbosa placed third at the 2019 ADCC Championships.
Barbosa, whose excellent takedowns and physical top game seem like a perfect fit for MMA, currently holds a 2-1 professional MMA record. He lost his professional MMA debut in September 2011, but bounced back with a pair of wins (both against the same opponent) in 2012. Since then, Barbosa has focused his efforts on professional jiu-jitsu and grappling. He holds recent notable grappling wins over Gilbert Burns, Roberto Jimenez, and Giancarlo Bodoni.
Umarov is 4-1 as a professional with all four of his wins coming by way of stoppage. Like Barbosa, this will be Umarov’s PFL debut.
How to watch: The PFL Challenger Series qualifiers will take place on Friday, August 5 at 9:00 PM ET and will air live on ESPN+ (subscription required).