Victor “Striker” Hugo won his entry into UFC last year in Dana White’s Contender Series. UFC is the biggest championship platform for mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. We spoke with Victor to learn more about his journey in his professional MMA career. 

Image: Victor Hugo

1. What was your motivation for deciding on a career in MMA? 

I have been a fighter since I was five years old. My father was a fighter and started my career by teaching me kickboxing and putting me in a BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu school). My father is my motivation because I believe all kids want to impress their father, so that is a reason.

2. What were the challenges you faced in your professional MMA career? 

The biggest challenge was balancing training and work because I worked from 10 PM until 5 AM six times a week, slept very little and trained twice a day, and this routine continued for ten long years until I was signed as the most significant event in the world, man. It was challenging, but I managed.

3. How was your journey to get into the UFC? 

My journey to the UFC was extremely difficult; as I said before, I started my career by training in kickboxing with my father and doing BJJ, too. I was taught from the age of five until I was 20 in my hometown, and then I moved to the south of Brazil, where I had to train and work. In the south of Brazil, I met a great MMA team. I knew what it was like to train hard and have to dedicate myself. I must confess that I ultimately sacrificed my life to get to where I am today, including my time with my family, who lived two thousand kilometres away. I was able to visit them very rarely. I was distant from my friends, but I understand that this was all part of becoming who I am today as an athlete, man, and citizen…

4. What do you expect to achieve in the UFC? 

In the UFC, my ultimate goal is nothing short of becoming a champion. I envision myself dominating my division and rising with relentless determination and skill. 

5. Have you faced any unexpected obstacles in your life that affected you personally?

My brother passed away in 2022. That guy was like a brother to me; we had known each other since we were 3. He loved Charles “Do Bronxs” Oliveira (another UFC fighter). When he passed away, I was mentally broken. I was f*** crazy. I rode my bike at 180 miles per hour on the road. I lost my mind for sure… but with time, I was coming back to normal, but still sad. So, I fought and started training. Then, I promised myself that I would finish my fight because my brother loved Charles Do Bronx. So I did it in 23 seconds of the first round. That was a tribute to him.

6. What advice would you like to give someone interested in making a career in MMA?

Give your best, no excuses. There is no place for weak people in that world. 

Victor was rejected from the UFC years ago before getting accepted last year. Despite facing challenges in all aspects of life, Victor kept training with his goal in mind and constant dedication. Victor shocked everyone with a knee-bar submission for his entry into the UFC last year and a victory with a unanimous decision on his debut fight this April.

UFC is a dream place for fighters worldwide, from Chechnya to Sao Paulo. Many come from extremely underprivileged backgrounds before making it big in this sport, which has its home in Vegas. Victor’s journey reminds us of the dedication and hard work it takes behind this blood sport enjoyed by millions all around the world. 

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