UFC Vet Lucio “Spartan” Linhares on BJJ in Finland & his BJJ & MMA Career

UFC Vet Lucio “Spartan” Linhares on BJJ in Finland & his BJJ & MMA Career

1.Hi Lucio, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ community of Eastern Europe 

Lucio Linhares, 38, born in Minas Gerais, live in Vitória. Bjj blak belt 3 degrees. 3rd in the worlds and in the brazilian team, many times state champion.

2.How did you start training Jiu-Jitsu?

Lucio with his master BJJ legend Eduardo Jamelao (black gi)

I always did fight, motivated by movies like karate kid, started when i was 15 with kung fu, tried many diferent martial arts, but when I turned 20 I had to start to work in my dad’s restaurant and also study. When the restaurant closed, I looked for something to do and decided to watch a bjj training, there i saw two guys sparring and one put the other to sleep in a chock choke, by then i knew what wanted to do. I found it impressive that you could dominate someone with out the need of punching and more importantly hurting the other. I saw the light in the end of the tunnel 🙂



3. How and why did you decide to open a BJJ academy in Finland? 

With his students in Finland

I was working in the airport and teaching in a small gym when came the opportunity to travel and make a real living doing something that I love so I grabbed it.

4. How was it training under a BJJ legend such Jamelao?

It was very inspirational, it s unbeliaveble that the top of my master Jamelao’s career was when he was living and teaching in vitória with no other high level black belts to train with. He had only us a bunch of hard heads blue and purple belts!

5. Finland is known as having one of the best BJJ in Europe. Please tell us about the BJJ scene in the country and why do you think that Finns excel in the sport?

Finns are excpecional n everything that they do, they are very disciplined and take it by heart,

6. How is life in Finland for you? Do you consider it your second home (You have competed for Finland in MMA)

Very good, Finland is a great place to live, I love it, have great friends, great training partners, I say that I learned bjj in brazil and mma in finland.

7.Please tell us about your MMA career, which has brought you to fight top contenders at the UFC. Are you focused more on MMA or BJJ at the moment?

Fighting Karl Amoussou in M1

When i started bjj, it was about the same time that Royce Gracie started in the UFC. I would never have imagined that a in million years that I would be fighting MMA let alone in the UFC, then came a proposal to have a fight in Finland that didn’t happen cause of a knee injury which ended up being good cause i could debut in my hometown. With my own training with my friends, after 2 fights I started fighting in Finalnd. In the beginning I won many fights but people didn’t enjoy very much cause it was a lot of technical bjj and not so much striking, so I focused on my stand up and got better. So now I like to fight stand up but like i say jiu jitsu always saves me in times of trouble. I only focus in fighting MMA, I train a lot o bjj though because without it, I couldn’t win in many cases. So when i got to fight in the UFC, it was an overwhelming experience and even coming up against such high level competition and loosing, I still enjoyed every moment of that ride, I was already 35 years old then.

8. How would you define your teaching style and your type of Jiu-Jitsu?

I am very caring as a coach and I take it very seriously. it motivates me to see the students excel, not only competing but specially in the gym.

9.If you want to thank somebody please feel free.

Thanks to my sponsors HIPKO, Jusspek and fighterplaza.com and thank you my friend!

10. Thank you Lucio and all the best!