If you have watched the No-Gi World Championship in December you know that there’s a new Lightweight champion: Johnny Tama! With a huge bloody cut on his face and against all the odds, Tama has become the first ever World Champion from Ecuador. Grappling-Italia has reached Johnny for an interview.
(We want to thank Johnny for his kindness and helpfulness!)
1- First of all, congratulations for your great win at the No-Gi Worlds! How do you feel about it? Your cry after the final was a touching moment!
Winning a World Championship means a lot to me because I’ve been trying for so long and falling short on semis or even losing finals. Even this year I didn’t get as many 1st places like last year but my dream and main goal has always been to win Worlds as a black belt. No-Gi Worlds is the first of many I want to accomplish!
2- You are the first BJJ World Champ from Ecuador ever: what does it mean to you? What do you think about the BJJ scene in Ecuador?
Well, I’m the first black belt world champion from Latin America and the first from the Spanish speaking Community.
Jiu Jitsu in Ecuador has a lot of talented competitors and well that translates to the amount of passion there is for BJJ in Ecuador: it’s been growing fast and it makes me really happy to see younger generations getting inspired by this achievements to compete and to follow their dreams.
3- The funny thing about your win at No-Gi Worlds is the fact that you predicted it, as your wrote on your Facebook page a few days before. How did you know that your moment had finally come?
I knew it when I accepted a lot of facts.
1) once in the battlefield you are already dead: if you can accept that you can do and try your very best cause you’ve got nothing to lose. 2) being mindful and focused on breathing and the present moment. 3) believing in myself more than ever.
4- I’ve read that you’re going to fight Edwin Najmi at Fight 2 Win 136: What do you think about this match? What can we expect?
It’s gonna be an amazing fight, lots of respect for Edwin’s work, but I’m gonna try to submit him as fast as possible. He and I are submission artists so it’s gonna be fireworks!
5- We are in 2020: what are your goals for this new year?
Winning Gi Worlds is my biggest goal, Pan Ams and get a F2W belt, quadruple gold at IBJJF opens, open my own gym by the end of 2020.