Felipe Costa Pan No-Gi Interview: “Training With Xande & Victor Hugo Everyday Is Like Fighting In The Open Class Final At Worlds”
The Six Blades black belt will go for his first major no-gi title at Pan No-Gi.
Six Blades Jiu-Jitsu’s Felipe Costa is one of the most promising young black belts on the competition scene. Despite being promoted to black belt in June 2022, Felipe has already made waves at the highest level of the sport. With less than a year at black belt, Felipe competed at the 2022 Pans and Worlds No-Gi tournaments, earning bronze medals in both events. His results have been even better in 2023. At the Pans in Kissimmee, Florida, Felipe made it to the final of the super heavyweight division, earning a silver medal after falling short to 3X World Champion Erich Munis. He then competed at the American Nationals in Las Vegas, this time taking gold at super heavyweight after getting a submission victory in the final. We caught up with Felipe just ahead of the 2023 Pan No-Gi, where he’ll compete in the ultra heavyweight division in search of his first major no-gi gold medal.
2023 has been a breakout year for you as a competitor. Can you talk about your results this year and which tournament you thought you performed best in?
“This year has been pretty good. I’ve been fighting a lot and not taking any time off from competition. A lot of the time athletes take time off from fighting after Worlds, but I still wanted to take advantage of this time and continue to show my jiu-jitsu to everyone. I’m proud of my performance at Worlds, Pans, and American Nationals this year and I’m really happy with how my jiu-jitsu has evolved! Now I’m looking forward to what is next."
Can you describe your training sessions at Six Blades and how Professors Xande and Victor Hugo have helped your game?
“My training with Professor Xande and Professor Victor Hugo has just been a blessing. They help me a lot with my game and I’m really grateful to have them in my life. Training with them everyday is like fighting in the open class final at Worlds. Our sparring sessions are always a war!”
Last year you took third at the Pan and Worlds No-Gi. How has your no-gi game evolved since last year? What do you plan to show at the 2023 Pan No-Gi? Are there any specific techniques you've been working on that you want to put on display?
“I’ve been working on a lot of top game and I’ve always liked to play guard so I’m excited to put both together and show everyone what I’ve been working on. I’m excited for the opportunity to show off some of my wrestling and work some takedowns as well. I’ve been competing mostly in the gi but I never stopped my no-gi training and I think my game has evolved a lot since last year.”
Is there anything else you wanted to say?
“Thank you so much IBJJF! I’m really hoping for an opportunity to fight The Crown. I’m just waiting for my invite because I’m ready to put on a show. I’m always ready to fight and I think it’d be a great place to display my jiu-jitsu.”
Don't miss any of the matches from the 2023 Pan No-Gi. You can watch them all live on FloGrappling.