Over the past few years, Victor Hugo was considered the next big thing in BJJ and he has lived up to the hype. He has become one of the top competitors in the sport, defeating current and future legends in both his colored belt and now Black Belt competition career, most recently winning the IBJJ Grand Prix. But Victor was not always a great athlete, having quit most of the sports he tried growing up. That was until he found Jiu Jitsu.
Born in Fortaleza, the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará, Victor started Jiu Jitsu in 2011 at the age of 14. Victor's father had signed himself up for classes and immediately began bringing Victor along to the academy. Victor found that the sport of Jiu Jitsu was one where you didn't have to be the fastest, strongest, or most athletic to succeed. He realized that if you put in the time, you would get better. He was soon training multiple times a day, loving the environment and community, and being able to compete on his own terms, not needing to make the team in order to do so.
Victor was having great success as a colored belt competitor and in 2016 traveled to the United States for the IBJJF Worlds. While there he won his weight and the absolute division for Purple belts, but possibly more important than his victories, his friend Gustavo Dias introduced him to the legendary Ribeiro brothers, Saulo and Xande. It was shortly after this meeting that the Ribeiros offered Victor a scholarship to their Jiu Jitsu University. Victor had just started studying nutrition in college back in Brazil, but he knew this was an opportunity he could not pass up. With the blessing of his father and family, he moved to the United States, joining the Ribeiro team and becoming a full-time athlete.
Now five years later Victor is continuing to advance in the sport, winning world championships, and starting other ventures like a clothing line, and releasing BJJ instructional videos. This one-time teen who gave up on sports has become the #1 ranked gi fighter in 2020 and has proven that by putting in the time you can achieve greatness in Jiu Jitsu.