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CARBULLIDO WORLDS QUALIFIER

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By Patrick Lujan

Guam's John Meno (L) and Mike Carbullido (R) both won gold in their purple belt divisions in San Diego's Abu Dhabi Trials. Carbullido went on to win the absolute gold to advance to the World Championships in April. (courtesy photo)

Guam’s John Meno (L) and Mike Carbullido (R) both won gold in their purple belt divisions in San Diego’s Abu Dhabi Trials. Carbullido went on to win the absolute gold to advance to the World Championships in April. (courtesy photo)

Twenty-one-year-old Mike Carbullido continues to show his world-class jiu-jitu skills as he won double gold in the purple belt division over the weekend in the Abu Dhabi Trials in San Diego, Calif.

With the absolute gold, Carbullido won an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the Abu Dhabi World Championships in April – one of the biggest jiu-jitsu tournaments in the world.

“I feel really good,” an ecstatic Carbullido said after the competition. “I felt so confident. This is my year. I do this every single day, all day, and all the hard work paid off.”

Carbullido won the heavyweight gold medal on Saturday to advance to the absolute heavy round the next day. That’s where he easily beat three bigger men to get to the finals where he took the gold under a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ over a teammate.

“Those guys were dankulu (big),” Carbullido said. “The Guam boys that came out to support me said they’ve never seen me look so small on the mat.”

Carbullido competes at 198-lbs. in a 208-lb division. In the absolute division, it’s all the gold medal winners 183-lbs. and above.

On his path to the gold, he beat bigger opponents by choke, kimura and outpointed his semifinal opponent 7-0.

This was his third try at a slot in the Abu Dhabi Worlds, coming up short that last two years despite winning his division in those tournaments.

“Last year was my first (as a purple belt) and I choked. I wasn’t aggressive enough,” he added. “I told myself there is nothing to lose and just go out there and get it.”

Carbullido will be joining five youth players from Guam who will be participating in the World Kids Cup the day before the Worlds begins.

Fellow Chamorro teammate John Meno made the purple belt absolute after winning the lightweight division on Saturday, but lost his second match in the absolute light division on Sunday.

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