John ‘Bogus’ DeVall sets his sights on world title

January 24, 2019
John DeVall in his new DeVall MMA & BJJ studio. The mixed martial arts school, 709 Douglas St., is on the ground floor of the Benson Building in downtown Sioux City, offering greater visibility to his training business.

The months have passed and it is time for another championship cage fight with mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jujutsu trainer, John “Bogus” DeVall in the co-main event.

DeVall will be fighting Ted Worthington in hopes of winning the Super Fight World Title in King of the Cage “Hunting Season” at WinnaVegas on Jan. 26.

When DeVall got into fighting, MMA and Brazilian Jujutsu were not in his playbook; instead, he started as a boxer.

“I had been boxing and my buddy, Nate Martin, tried to get me into smoker boxing matches, but they always fell through,” said DeVall. “He then asked if I wanted to do a cage fight at Lewis Bowl for Cage Inc. I did it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

When you see the amount of energy these fighters expend in the cage and see the fitness of their bodies, you know there had to be a lot of training in preparation for the fight.

“I’m doing this fight different than other ones,” said the fighter. “I used to over-train. I would train six to eight hours a day. This time I’ve been focusing on quality training instead of quantity. I’m in my mid 30s now and it hurts more. I’m working on a lot of striking, but I’m not doing much hard sparring. I do tech sparring, working on techniques. I do a lot of Jujutsu, weight training and bag work.”

Food is another important aspect of getting ready for fights. Fighters have to take care of their bodies and make sure they are fully energized before entering the cage. However, in the weeks leading up to the fight, this might not always be the case.

“I’ve been fasting for the last three weeks,” said DeVall. “I get up between 5 and 7 a.m. and then I don’t eat until 4 to 8 p.m. I eat healthy and organic fresh foods, a lot of lean meats like pork and chicken, a lot of mushrooms, a lot of nuts, tons of mixed greens and a lot of fruit. I drink a gallon of water each day and take multi-vitamins with all my meals. I’m cutting weight, which hurts my body, so I need to get all the nutrition in that I can, plus I’m depleting myself during training every day.”

Each fighter has different qualities, strengths and styles of fighting in the cage. DeVall brings a big counter-strike.

“I’m a bigger counter-striker and I use my Jujutsu,” said DeVall. “I don’t really try to knock you out; I just go. If they get hurt, I’ll go in for the submission. I understand if I keep trying to strike with them, I’ll probably get knocked out. I just try to be calm, cool and collected.

“In the cage I’m quick, agile, powerful and calm. Most people are too emotionally driven when they fight…I used to be. I always look at how the other fighter breathes. If I see frantic breathing in my opponent, there is a raised heart rate and I know I’ll have an opportunity soon. I think of MMA like a game of chess.”

DeVall has a record of 15 wins and nine losses, but out of those wins there is a clear favorite.

“For my first King of the Cage fight I cut about 30 to 35 pounds,” said the fighter. “I came in, felt great, then over-hydrated myself and got sick. I went to bed at 146 pounds and when I woke up I had lost 10 pounds. I gave everything I had the first five minutes of that fight. Second round came along and he dropped me in three seconds. I was done…I probably lost three pounds in that first round! My coach at that time, John Hanson, told me to survive, and I listened to him. I ended up getting the kid back; I survived four more minutes…my body and mind were drained. When you are looking for a way out of a fight, it’s not good. To overcome that and to still win felt really good.”

For the upcoming fight, DeVall will be up against someone he had watched and followed since before he had even started MMA, Ted Worthington.

“We are fighting for a Super Fight world title,” said DeVall. “(Worthington) is a super tough dude; he’s old school and gritty. He’s been fighting since I was in high school, so he’s been fighting for a while. He has over 100 professional fights and a high percentile win-loss ratio. He throws hard and has a wild style. He’s bigger than me, so I’m assuming he’s cutting weight for the fight. I was 182 and woke up this morning at 161. I was trying to get to weight a week early so I’d be situated for this fight. Experience is a monstrous thing.”

How does DeVall think he can beat the veteran fighter?

“I need to step in on him and don’t let him get comfortable, switch things up and win however I can” he said. “I’ve been practicing a lot of wrestling and Jujutsu because I figured if he bests me or hurts me, I can just take him down.”

At 33, DeVall is not 100 percent positive how long he can keep professionally fighting.

“Currently I have a one-year deal, and I might just finish that out, or I might continue with it; I’m not sure…it depends on what these fights take out of me,” said DeVall. “If I continue, I’ll probably just do pro Jujutsu. It’s really big in Colorado.”

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