The blue and purple belt male adult divisions at the 2014 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship were no joke on Saturday, Oct. 5 in Azusa, CA. Both absolute brackets held multiple fights each for whichever athlete made it to the final.
In the blue belt absolute, Devhonte Johnson was able to earn the gold that he missed in his heavyweight division. The Carvalho BJJ Academy student was not able to capture the win in his final match against Johan Romming and received the silver medal due to a 4-0 points loss. But he was motivated to do well in the open weight and to repeat his achievement at the Pan No-Gi by winning gold in the absolute.
Devhonte had three matches in the open and the toughest were the finals and the semi-final. In the semi-final, Josh Valles’ guard was tough to pass. “Josh has an impassable guard. I tried to take his back and failed and he tried to take my back at the end. It was a back and forth battle,” he says of the semis. In the finals, Australian Tobias Green gave Devhonte a tough match as well. He also went against him in the No-Gi Pans one week prior in weight and absolute. At the Worlds they met twice again. “This was my fourth time fighting him. I swept him twice in the match to win. He’s very strong and resilient and when I fought him in the semis of the weight division luck was on my side when I got out of the darce choke.”
In the purple belt absolute, the Pan No-Gi double gold champion conquered the same feat in Azusa. Gutemberg Pereira of GFTeam won four matches in the super-heavyweight division and also four in the absolute. He had five submissions during the day. His toughest match was the first match of the absolute because of his opponents’ flexibility and he only won by two advantages.
The accomplishment meant a lot to him and his path. “When I win it’s gratification for all the obstacles I have to pass day to day–my daily struggles. My biggest inspiration is my mom,” says the 20-year-old.
The females had their own exciting matches going on opposite the males. The blue belt open dwindled down to two medium-heavyweights, a rematch from the medium-heavy final. Raquel Paaluhi of Maui Jiu-Jitsu earned the win in the open weight over Ambar Villagran of Checkmat. Ambar, from Sweden, earned the gold in the division. The podium was shared with Lauren Murphy, the middleweight gold medalist and Crystal Demopoulos a light featherweight who earned silver earlier in the day.
Purple belt females had a war with multiple girls in different weight classes. The final came down to Jessica da Silva Oliveira of Gracie Barra and Heather Raftery of Fight Sports. Jessica took the win and Judith Gomes shared third with Ana Talita de Oliveira Alencar, both featherweights.
See full results here: http://static.ibjjfdb.com/Campeonato/000313/en-US/Results.pdf
And a full photo gallery of the divisions: