Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa vs Matheus Diniz – BJJ Stars

ATOS Jiu Jitsu’s squad member, Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, will take on Matheus Diniz, an ADCC gold medalist on,June 26th. This is the latest chapter in the Team Atos vs. Team Alliance storybook.

Over the last five years, Barbosa has beaten Diniz on three separate occasions. Can he do it for the 4th time?

Tomorrow at FloGrappling’s BJJ Stars, we find out.

Let’s dive deeper to see how this match may play out.

Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa

  • Record: 17038-0
  • Height: 5’11 | Weight: -205 (Light-Heavyweight)| Age: 28
  • Wins: 65 SUB, 13 decisions, 71 points, 19 Advantage,
  • Losses: 5 SUB, 18 points, 7 Decision, 5 Advantage, 1 OT

Noticeable Wins: Patrick Gaudio, Leandro Lo, Gabriel Almeida, Matheus Diniz, Nicky Rod

Noticeable Losses: Gordan Ryan, Roberto Abreu, Kyle Boehm, Nicolas Meregali, Tex Johnson

Current Ranking: #5 Light-Heavyweight | Last match: Tex Johnson

Fighter’s Weaknesses:

If you watch Lucas Barbosa’s matches against Guilherme Augusto and Gordan Ryan, he tries to wrestle and maintain top position the entire match.

Perhaps, because he favors the top, but maybe, because his bottom game is not quite up to par.

There is a good reason why he rarely plays guard

In his latest match against Augusto, when Barbosa was forced to play bottom guard, he didn’t even try to shrimp out or frame against his opponent’s shoulder line and push away. He froze up for a few seconds like a deer caught in headlights.

And a few seconds could be the difference between victory and defeat.  

Lucas Barbosa’s game is unevenly top game dominant; he relies on his strengths too much instead of working on his weaknesses. He is not well-rounded.

Last August, when he fought Roberto “Cyborg Abreu at “Who’s Number One” (WNO), Cyborg managed to put Hulk on the bottom.

Instead of fighting off his back, Hulk violently and desperately scrambled to stand back up and get back on his feet.

But although his weaknesses are evident, he can easily shroud them in a cloud of brute strength and explosiveness and still manage to win so you can’t argue with results.

Fighter’s Strengths:

“Hulk” is a perfect nickname for Lucas Barbosa because he embodies the qualities of this “comic book hero.”

Hulk’s main strengths are his intense top-pressure and extreme level of physicality.

He’s big, fast, strong, physical, and a 4x IBJJF World No-Gi gold medalist.

As I said, many of Hulk’s matches consist of him wrestling his opponents to the mat, maintaining top position, and

wearing them down with his maximum pressure.

He pushes the pace and uses his ATOS-style hand fighting to strain his opponent’s neck muscles.

Once he senses their fatigue, he capitalizes by shooting infor a double or the signature ATOS style single leg into a successful takedown.

If Hulk manages to outwrestle his opponents, he starts implementing his explosive passing sequence, using his signature body lock pass as the final move in his series.

Usually, if he passes your guard, he will start working into a top mount position, ultimately hunting for a straight armlock which he has finished many of his opponents with.

According to BjjHeroes, it is Lucas Hulk Barbosa’s highest percentage submission.

But if he is unsuccessful in his initial takedown or pass, he disengages and resets the position.

In conclusion, his superb wrestling skills work in tandem with his body lock passing.

Lucas Barbosa, just like the rest of his teammates: Kaynan Duarte, the Ruotolo brothers, Ronaldo Junior, Josh Hinger, never let his opponents rest on their laurels.

He constantly blitzes them with intense, explosive, athletic movements that are hard to read these are good reasons why his nickname is “Hulk.”

… If you compete against him, you may get smashed.

Matheus Diniz

  • Record: 75281
  • Height: 6’0” | -205 (Light-Heavyweight) | Age: 29
  • Wins: 34 SUB, 6 decisions, 29 points, 3 Advantages, 1 OT
  • Losses: 5 SUB, 13 points, 4 Advantages, 5 Decision

Noticeable Wins: Craig Jones, Josh Hinger, MuriloSantana, Pedro Marinho, Gabriel Arges

Noticeable Losses: Felipe Pena, Gordan Ryan, Lucas Barbosa

Current Ranking: #3 Light Heavyweight | Last match: Otavio Sousa

Fighter’s Weaknesses:

Matheus Diniz has the same weakness (and strengths) as Lucas Barbosa; he can’t play off his back.

Matheus tends to come out hard and tries to dominate his opponents from the top, but like Barbosa, rarely do you see him on his back.

During his match against Gordan, you notice he gets swept several times, is held down for several minutes, and is eventually summitted via heel hook.

But what you also notice is that when he does escape some of Gordan’s top attacks, he relies on his brute strength and explosiveness rather than his technical ability.  

I believe this will be his downfall against an opponent like Barbosa, who has a similar level of strength, speed, and explosiveness.

Fighter’s Strengths:

Matheus Diniz is very similar to Lucas Barbosa in strength, speed, explosiveness, and level of physicality. He might beBarbosa’s doppelganger.

Diniz also favors a blast double leg takedown.

Look, Matheus Diniz has only been submitted one time as a black belt in a No-Gi match (Gordan Ryan) and is rarely controlled by his opponents.

His top game is excellent, and he never stops moving forward, which is what helped him win gold during the 2019 ADCC World Championships.  

One of his most memorable highlights was his match against ATOS stalwart Josh Hinger when he passedHinger’s guard and maintained side control during the last five seconds of the match.

Matheus Diniz’s forte in creating movement and shuttingdown submission attempts is what makes him deadly.

This man does not stop moving, and the moment he feels vulnerable, he does not freeze up like many other competitors.

This is the tactic Diniz implemented against Craig Jones’s leglock attempts during the 2019 ADCC championships and allowed him to win first place.

Honestly, most explosive and robust competitors tend to disengage, stall, or run away, but Diniz does the opposite.

There is merit in being able to move forward.


This will be an exciting match with non-stop action.

Both competitors are big, strong, have similar styles and levels of technical prowess.

We are going to see them scrap.

Ultimately, it’s difficult to predict who will win, but I don’t believe there will be a win via submission.

Both competitors are outstanding athletes but not highly proficient submission artists. We will see a victory via points, most likely a successful takedown attempt or guard pass.

That said, I forecast Lucas Barbosa will come out on top.

In the past, Barbosa has beaten Diniz on several occasions.

Barbosa has frequently been competing both Gi and No-Gi over the last few months, which means his mindset and body are more acclimated to competition.

Compared to Diniz who has not competed since BJJ Stars 4 on November 4th, 2020, which is a long hiatus for a professional athlete.  

But I could be wrong.

Diniz could surprise us by putting Barbosa on his back and taking advantage of Barbosa’s weak bottom game.

Although it’s statistically unlikely he does, if he can keep Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa on his back and prevent him from scrambling up, he may pass his guard and score a few points.  

That’s my prediction, what’s yours?


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