In sophomore outing, Gutemberg Pereira feels ready to capture world title

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Photo: Vitor Freitas

Gutemberg Pereira is ready to compete in his second World Championship this Sunday as a black belt at Long Beach, California. Under the GFTeam banner after the Rodolfo Vieira’s era, “Guto” is going to compete in the super heavyweight division, one of the most stacked divisions on the tournament.

Since he won the World Championship in 2017, which was the last tournament before he won the black belt from his master, Pereira has been investing in his physical and mental skills to reach his potential. Now that he’s a more experienced fighter, he’s ready to battle the best grapplers in the world.

“I have a specialist that has been working with me for some time now. He’s a very well-known guy in wrestling, and he has been helping some Olympic level athletes here in America. Mental training is something that is very interesting. There’s a buzz in Brazil about “Mental Coaches”, which are some people that don’t have any basis about the matter but thinks that they can give enough motivation to a high level athlete. I rather be with a team that really have knowledge about sports psychology or at least have some background in life to give me some tips about my career. For me there’s no difference between the World Championship and a backyard tournament. The only difference is that you’re going to face top-level athletes so you have to be smart in the fight. I don’t see any difference between championships. When I put my name out there is to fight with all my potential.”

The black belt also spoke about his performance in the 2018’s World Championship, when he was having a good performance until he got disqualified. He talks about what he had learned about that experience and what he will do different this time to get the gold.

“Every year I have a big evolution as an athlete and as a person. Last year I couldn’t fight so much, I had a very stressful camp and I went to the World Championship in a very bad mood. I was disqualified on my second fight at open weight and didn’t even had the chance to my fight at my division. This year I’ve worked a lot on my mental side, learned a lot about this tournament, about tactics and when how you should fight against strategic fighters. I had a good experience learning about a lot of things since the last World Championship.”

Gutemberg also spoke about his strengths and also joked about a good way that his opponents could beat him.

“It’s very tough to talk about yourself, especially on record. But I honestly think that I don’t have any strength that some other athletes have. I have a good guard and I know how to pass guards as well. I’m not very good at takedowns, but I could make some ninja moves. But really, I ask all of my opponents to pull to their half guard’s and let me hold their heads. I can guarantee that they will sweep me there.”

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