Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa scheduled for first MMA fight in 10 years at PFL

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).

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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