There’s always a lot of attention on the IBJJF Master World Championship but 2023 drew even more eyes thanks to the fact that Demetrious Johnson had decided to enter the tournament. It came as a bit of a surprise to everyone seeing as Johnson is known as an MMA legend first and foremost, but he’s been interested in taking on new challenges for quite some time. For the longest time he was the UFC flyweight world champion and he broke records with a series of amazing performances over the years, but he moved on quickly once he lost the title to Henry Cejudo.
Since moving to ONE Championship he has added their flyweight title to his collection and defeated Muay Thai legend Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a special mixed-rules fight. He’s met each challenge with the same determination as every MMA fight he’s ever had and his incredible skill has shone through, so naturally there was some high expectations when he announced that he was going to compete in the IBJJF Master World Championship.
He entered the Master 2 featherweight brown belt division and although he was clearly going to have a significant athletic advantage over his opponents, he’s also primarily a no gi grappler. Surprisingly though, Johnson had already said that he prefers the gi and that preference seemed clear once he stepped on the mats. He was incredibly quick and put immense pressure on everyone he stood across from, beating every single grappler who tried to stop. Demetrious Johnson ended up winning 6 matches over the course of the day and won a gold medal at the IBJJF Master World Championship 2023.
The IBJJF have even shared some of the footage of the matches that Demetrious Johnson won on his way to taking home the gold medal of the IBJJF Master World Championship in a series of posts to their official Instagram account: