On Friday March 3rd, Johnatha Alves competed in the IBJJF FloGrappling Lightweight Grand Prix. Though it was the first grand prix bracket he competed in, Johnatha had competed at two super fights at GP events last year. He used his experience on the big stage to help him become the IBJJF FloGrappling Lightweight GP Champion. We caught up with the APJ black belt to talk about the event just ahead of his next tournament, the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships.
Your first match was against Elijah Dorsey, and you won in a dominant fashion. How did you feel about your performance in that match?
“I felt great in that match. Everything was going as planned and my team and I knew after the sweep it was a matter of time before I passed. I didn’t have enough time to get the submission, but everything went as planned.”
You beat Andy in the final for the fourth time at black belt. Andy was doing very well in the competition, and it was a close match. Did you expect it to be as close as it was?
“I know Andy is a formidable opponent, but I was expecting to sweep and come on top with my legs free. That way, I would have my chance to attack from the top freely.”
How much do you study your opponents leading into big tournaments?
“I study my opponents the whole year, so when I face them, I already know what to expect.”
Did you have a specific strategy for the final with Andy?
“My strategy was to fight, regardless of the positions I was in.”
Was there anything, in particular, you were looking to showcase at the GP?
“I wanted to showcase my jiu-jitsu and in general, I wanted to show everyone that I can fight from any position and situation. I trust the work I do and my technical level.”
You can watch Johnatha Alves go for his fourth straight title at the IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships on Saturday March 25th, exclusively on FloGrappling