• The tragic incident unfolded at a nightclub in Sao Paulo
  • The international fighting community has paid tributes to the legend
  • He was one of the most successful jiu-jitsu competitors in the world

Leandro Lo, one of Brazil's most celebrated Jiu-Jitsu champions, has died after getting shot in the head in a nightclub in São Paulo. The 33-year-old wrestler was attending a concert at the club in the Saude neighborhood, where he had a heated argument with another man in the early hours of Sunday.

Witnesses told the cops that the man, who was identified as an off-duty police officer, approached Lo when he was enjoying the concert with his friends at the club. Later, the two engaged in a confrontation and the policeman started making threatening gestures at the athlete.

Lo tried to calm the cop down when he allegedly pulled out a gun and fired a shot at the champion's forehead, local news website Marca reported, citing a police affidavit. According to, the suspect is named Henrique Otávio Oliveira Velozo. Lo was immediately taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared brain dead after a few hours of diagnosis, his family lawyer said.

A statement issued by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Sports Confederation (CBJJE) said, "The idol of a sport, Leandro Lo leaves us materially."

The Confederation offered homage to the champion for inspiring so many people around the world to wear kimonos and practice the art of jiu-jitsu.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian police have arrested Velozo and launched an attempted murder investigation against him.

Eight-time world jiu-jitsu champion, Lo, is the recipient of five World Cup titles and eight Pan-American titles in the sport. He is the only athlete in Jiu-Jitsu history to win world titles in all five weight categories. The legendary wrestler won his first world title in 2012 in the lightweight class. In 2016, he achieved the triple crown by winning Copa Podios in three different categories - light, middle, and heavyweight - in the same year. Lo bagged his most recent victory in the 2022 World Championship in California earlier this year.

The champion earned his black belt from the Academia Cícero Costha in São Paulo, one of the top-ranking Jiu-Jitsu schools in the world.

Tributes are pouring in from the members of the international jiu-jitsu community after the shocking news of his untimely demise.

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation took to Twitter and expressed condolences.

"The IBJJF and Jiu Jitsu community are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Leandro Lo. Lo was one of the greatest athletes our sport has ever produced. An example of a true black belt, martial artist and champion on and off the mats. Rest in peace legend," the tweet read.

Taking to the social media platform, former UFC fighter Kenny Florian wrote, "A very sad day for the BJJ community. Leandro was a legend."

Kenny Florian Tweet on Leandro Lo

Former MMA fighter Josh Thomson also paid tribute to the athlete.

"The word legend is thrown around way too much in sports but it can't be thrown around enough when it comes to your name in Jiu Jitsu || Leandro Lo, My heart and prayers to your family my brother. Rest easy my friend," the tweet said.

Representational image. Pixabay