Lucas Hulk Barbosa loses PFL debut

Lucas Hulk Barbosa is an accomplished grappler with wins over Gilbert Burns, Rafael Lovato and many others. Ahead of the contest Barbosa told media:

“I won’t say I’m superior because they’re way better than me in MMA, but it gives me some confidence knowing I was able to gain positions [against them], that I have an updated grappling game against MMA people like them. I think I’ll do well against anyone in MMA if I have the opportunity to take them down.”

But it looks like Barbosa’s desire to transition to MMA hit a snag when he lost during the main event of PFL Challenger last night.

Hot prospect Itso Babulaidze kept his record perfect after defeating BJJ phenom Lucas Barbosa. Babulaidze successfully stuffed Barbosa’s many takedown attempts.

Babulaidze became a threat on his PFL debut in August last year. He defeated Mahmoud Sebie Fawzy via first-round TKO.

Barbosa controlled the action in the first round. The Brazilian was able to take Babulaidze to the ground and rain down punches, but failed to submit him. In the second round, Babulaidze turned the tide.

He dominated Barbosa in a stand-up. Barbosa tried to retaliate with yet another takedown attempt but that two was snuffed out.

In the final round, Barbosa appeared gassed out. Babulaidze became more and more dominant in every aspect of the game. Babulaidze got a successful takedown. But going to ground with Barbosa still had the potential to backfire. He appeared to be in control and almost got Babulaidze in an arm triangle.

Unfortunately, he failed yet again.

Itso Babulaidze came out as the winner via unanimous decision with judges scoring the contest 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.

Barbosa is now 2-2 in MMA and it’s uncertain where he might go from here. Babulaidze earned a contract with that performance.