On Saturday 22nd March our Ambassador Wayne Johnson competed in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open. Here, he tells us exclusively how he got on!
This weekend I travelled with my team mates the London Shootfighters , down to the Coast for the very first ever Southend Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Open.
Following what was a difficult weight cut, I weighed in at 11:00hrs exactly on weight to qualify to fight in the Blue Belt 76kg Adult Division. This as always was a packed division with 14 fighters all pumped and ready to go to war. My first fight was scheduled to start at 14:00hrs so I now had a little time to refuel with some pasta and water and enjoy some of the other fights that were taking place on the mats. My team mates at London Shootfighters started to pick up some medals so the pressure started to build up and the nerves started to kick in.
About half an hour before my fight I started to warm up and go over in my head what I planned to do in my fights. And then I was called . . .
My first fight was a little delayed as my opponent got caught short and was in the toilet!!!! . . . Great now I had to wait a little longer but; I stayed focused and listened to the words of advice that my coach was giving me. After a little banter on my opponents return we were both called forward, touched hands and the first fight was on.
Unlike some of my previous fights I wasted no time in taking my opponent to the ground with a takedown I had practiced in the gym earlier in the week, scoring me 2 points and putting me in a dominant top position. From this point on I worked hard to pass my opponents guard and maintain side control. All the time I could hear my coaches Luiz Tosta and Rodolfo Nygaard shouting advice to me to control his legs which I listened to and I played a good Jiu-Jitsu game to go on and get my first win of the day with a points victory and go through to the semi –finals.
I had a 5 min rest now to drink some water, take a breath and listen to the advice of my coaches. I was up against a tough guy from the Carlson Gracie Essex academy who I had watched choke his opponent almost unconscious in his first fight. Now I knew I was up against it. My objective here was not to concentrate on what he had done previous but to believe in my own Jiu-Jitsu. Again in this fight I was first to the takedown and again found myself in top position. From here really I knew I could control the fight and I worked a number of moves to take the opponents back and attempted a rear naked choke before deciding to return to the mount position and play my ‘points’ game. After a tough 6 minutes the ref called time and I won the fight 12-2, I was now in the final.
The final saw me face a young lad again from Carlson Gracie Essex academy who I knew was a very good Jiu-Jitsu fighter. We started the fight and this time I was unable to secure the takedown I wanted as he ‘pulled Guard’ on me. I was still comfortable here and we fought for position for a good 2 minutes before standing up, I then attempted and secured a single leg takedown which took my opponent to the ground. However, he was quick and jumped position into a triangle choke on the way to the ground and started to apply pressure straight away. I attempted to escape from here for a few moments but he was too strong and had applied the technique very well. So, before he choked me to sleep I submitted by way of a tap to my opponents legs and the ref stepped in. I was still very pleased with my performance up until then and can take away lots of learning that I will no doubt work on in the gym in the coming weeks.
I took Silver and went away from the day feeling very happy with my achievements and would like to thank my coaches at London Shootfighters for constantly pushing and developing me as a fighter and of course Deluxe Nutrition for providing me with the supplements I use to prepare myself. I will be fighting again in just a few weeks in a grappling competition and hope to be on the podium once more!