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5 Oz. Interview: Lucio Linhares fighting for the Finnish against Palhares at UFC 107

lucioLucio Linhares has long been one of MMA’s best kept secrets. A man who is commonly refered to as the “Godfather of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” in his adopted country of Finland, Linares manages one of the heaviest teaching and seminar schedules imaginable all while continuing to improve his skills and fight at the highest levels possible.

The days of anonymity could soon be gone for the Brazilian as he is set to debut at UFC 107 on Saturday December 12, 2009.  In his octagon debut Linhares is scheduled to fight fellow Brazilian Rousimar Palhares. Reflecting on his opponent Linhares told VOLT magazine, The first time saw him fight I was sure that he will be champion, but now I hope not…(laughes). recently had a chance to speak with “The Spartan” as he prepares for his Octagon debut in Memphis. Linhares spoke about his beginnings in Kung Fu,  his evolved striking, how he manages to live without a house or apartment, and the state of BJJ in Finland. What was your first experience in Martial arts? Did you start out in Jiu-Jitsu?

Lucio Linhares: No, I started when I was 15 years old doing Kung Fu, after that I did little bit of everything  I tried everything from Aikido for Capoeira before Jiu Jitsu. When did you start thinking that you could fight for a living?

Lucio Linhares: I don’t fight for a living, not yet, I teach. Would you say that you enjoyed fighting while growing up?

Lucio Linhares: Yes, I started like every other kid from my generation, watching Karate Kid and Jean Claude Van Dame and wanting to be like them. So much has been made of your submission game, and rightfully so, but what can you tell me about how much your stand-up game has evolved in recent months and years?

Lucio Linhares: It has evolved a lot, one my MMA coachs Petteri Maunu was talking to me and said that when I started fighting I was the version 1, only jiu jitsu, after some time in my career specially after I met coach Jarno Nurminen I went to phase 2, starting to incorporate stand up skills to my game, we found out that I have KO power, and now we are working in a version 3, with more technical stand up. I know it’s been a number of years How long have you been traveling to Finland? And was it teaching and seminar work that took you to the area?

Lucio Linhares: Yes I’ve been coming to Finland since 2001, I was invited to work here for Alliance Jiu Jitsu one of the best schools in the world, if not the best:) You have become pretty well known for your many seminars in Finland. Some call you the  “godfather” of Jiu Jitsu in Finland, what can you tell me about the evolution of Jiu Jitsu you have seen in Finland during the time you have spent there?

Lucio Linhares: The Finns are hard workers, they have a lots of discipline not to mention the organization level of everything here, Jiu Jitsu has c0me a long way and they have many great fighters  including world champions and  ADCC fighters. Is  it true that you don’t actually own a house or apartment in Finland? It has to be difficult spending the majority of the year in a country with no place to call home. .

Lucio Linhares: Yes, every 2 weeks or so I take the road to keep seminar in a different place – I travel so much around the country and teach it is unnecessary to pay for a separate apartment.  At this point I have been about everywhere. People who have been watching you fight and progress have often speculated about how you would do in the UFC,  how did you come to be signed by the world’s largest MMA organization?

Lucio Linhares: After a great work of my manager Petteri Maunu getting me some really good fights our co-manager Josef Borges made the proper contacts with the UFC and was successful getting the contract.;  On December 12, you will make your UFC debut against Rousimar Palhares, a fellow Brazilian, are you  familiar with his fighting style and past fights?

Lucio Linhares: Yes, I have seen many of his fights, he is a great fighter, it will be hard.  I am getting ready to fight wherever the fight takes me. Who are some fighters you like to watch fight?

Lucio Linhares: Fedor, Minotauro, Anderson Silva, Bj Penn, Toni Valtonen, Mikko Suvanto, Jarno Nurminen, Janne Tulirinta, Nikko Puhaka, Markus Vantinen, Mikko Ruponen among many others.; Best of luck in your upcoming fight Lucio. Do you have any sponsors or training partners you would like to thank??

Lucio Linhares: Yes, I would like to thank HIPKO, SAUNA SESSIO.COM, KIMURA WEAR. My training partners Sune Virta, Toni Liljeroos, Timo Suhonen, Toni Valtonen, Jarno Nurminan, Mikko Suvanto, Ville Rasanen, many others, and from Brazil my conditioning coach Gustavo Carvalho, my Boxing coach Robson Vidal and my Jiu Jitsu master Eduardo Jamelão.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Hendo who???

  • Nick Havok says:

    I got to say hello to Lucio and shake his hand at the M-1 Affliction Challenge 5th Edition in Kansas City. He was very cool.

    …and yes, this guy is a very well kept secret in MMA. He is really coming on these last couple years. I mean he completely wrecked shop for M-1 beating the likes of Karl Amoussou along the way.

    The only bummer with him going to the UFC is that he will be buried on the undercard for a few shows until he proves himself or does something spectacular.

    …and sadly, as much as I am a fan of Linhares, I just can’t see him doing anything spectacular to Rousimar Palhares. For that guy is a beast.

    If Lucio can beat him…I will be completely blown away. Rousimar is a tall order for anyone.

  • David Andrest says:

    Nick Havok: I just can’t see him doing anything spectacular to Rousimar Palhares. For that guy is a beast.If Lucio can beat him…I will be completely blown away. Rousimar is a tall order for anyone.

    Lucio has a shot against almost anyone. As far as spectacular…..Palhares has a style that doesn’t lend itself to spectacular win or lose.

  • Nick Havok says:

    David Andrest: Lucio has a shot against almost anyone. As far as spectacular…..Palhares has a style that doesn’t lend itself to spectacular win or lose.

    I have to somewaht disagree…I think ground fighting is exciting, and Palhares is one of the best at it. I mean if he gets a hold of you on the ground…there is a very good chance the fight will be over.

    For example, look at the Dan Henderson fight. Dan tangled with Rousimar one time on the ground in the second…and Palhares damn near choked Henderson out.

    …and if he would have, it would have been very spectacular to me. I mean you just don’t see Dan Henderson getting choked out that often. It’s a very rare occurance.

    That is why I am saying this fight will be so difficult for Linhares. I just don’t see him winning a ground fight with Palhares…and I don’t think Lucio will KO him either.

    But what do I know? I hope I’m dead wrong.

    The fan in me wants Lucio to succeed…and I will be rooting for him come this Saturday.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Lucio is far better on the ground then Hendo.
    and I do agree that Palhares is tall order for anyone but Linhares is sick.
    I Hope this one gets on tv

  • Nick Havok says:

    moosebaby02: HavokLucio is far better on the ground then Hendo.and I do agree that Palhares is tall order for anyone but Linhares is sick.I Hope this one gets on tv

    Better on the ground than Hendo?

    Wow! That is a bold statement, Bro.

    I’m not saying I disagree or anything (I mean they don’t call Linhares the ‘Godfather of BJJ’ for no reason)…I’m just saying that is quite an awesome compliment to say he is better than Dan Henderson.

    I really I hope you are right! Because if he is…then I won’t be damn near as nervous for his fight this weekend.

    Go Linhares!

  • moosebaby02 says:

    I guess it is kinda of bold.
    maybe im going on that it’s been like forever since i seen Dan on the ground or how he just dosent to seem to remember that he has one.
    but yes i still think Linhares is better on the ground. Maybe not the strenght but ya better. IMO

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Congrats to Lucio. I know this has been a dream of his for quite some time. He is a first class individual and an amazingly talented fighter. I was mocked when I said back in August he was good enough to beat 2/3’s of the UFC’s middleweights. Well, now that he has been signed by the promotion, he’ll get his shot. Palhares is talented in his own right, but I think Lucio wins this one. Good luck to both fighters though.


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