• 19 / Apr / 2017


  • Over 400 players fought their way to gold in the most prestigious Championship ever

  • Sports Industry Forum held alongside of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

UAE- Abu Dhabi, 19 April: Day two of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2017, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, roared into life at the IPIC Arena with the participation of more than 250 male players and 150 female players from 58 countries.

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship witnessed fierce and extraordinary performances from the best players in the world with over 29 weight categories in the adults male and female and Masters 1& 2 male blue and purple belt categories.

Brazil lead the second day of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship medal table with 22 medals (9 gold, 4 silver, 9 bronze). Russia finished second with 7 medal (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze), USA finished in third place with 7 medals (1 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze), and Sweden finished in fourth place with 4 medals (2 gold, 2 silver), and UAE in fifth place with 2 silver medals.

As part of the all-encompassing event, a press conference, led by 2017 Sports industry forum and supported by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation was launched in IPIC Arena.  The conference was attended by representatives of different organisations aiming to establish Abu Dhabi as a global destination for sports tourism, training camps and global competitions.

Speaking at the press conference, H.E. Aref Al Awani, Secretary General, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Mr Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotion and Overseas Offices at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority acknowledged Abu Dhabi as a world-class sporting hub as it hosts major international sports events, sports camps and off-season competitions for international teams and clubs, in addition to holding  and organising local events and encouraging international sports team to choose Abu Dhabi as their favorite destination.

Sports federations and authorities in Abu Dhabi are working towards creating a supportive and motivating sports environment to achieve excellence and global competitiveness in all sports particularly in Jiu-Jitsu. 

Faisal Al Ketbi, UAE National Team Captain and black belt holder said: “Jiu-Jitsu has seen tremendous development in the UAE. I remember that when we started playing Jiu-Jitsu in 1998, there were only 10 Players practicing Jiu-Jitsu.  Since then we have had the full support of our country which allowed us to travel to gain more experience, and enhance our skills and techniques. Now more than 70,000 players practice Jiu-Jitsu, and this is a remarkable achievement which is difficult to emulate in other sports. Now Jiu-Jitsu became rooted in the community, which is a sign of the increase of the number of players and fans of Jiu-Jitsu.”

He added: “I would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for supporting female sport in the UAE as we have witnessed an increasing number of female athletes taking part in sport year after year. I also would like to thank the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation for supporting and organising international events, thanks to them Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has become a hub welcoming thousands of Jiu-Jitsu players from all over the world to Abu Dhabi.”

The IPIC Fan Zone continued to host educational initiatives and workshops, and today saw the launch of the “Security Awareness” initiative, as Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is proudly partnered with the Ministry of Interior and Abu Dhabi Police to help advance the vital theme of security awareness."

The second day of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship was also attended by Michael Korn, Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, who was impressed at how the tournament continues to grow and the inclusion this year of the sport’s best para-athletes. 

"It’s a pleasure for me to be here [at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship] for my third time. When I look at the tournament and its history I can see how it continues to grow every year,” Korn said. 

"It’s important to have a sport that meets in one place with a lot of different cultures and so I’m glad that Abu Dhabi is able to do a superb job holding the event and welcoming the people here.” 

“The biggest change from previous years is how the tournament has grown. We have a lot of athletes this year and we’ve seen a lot more para-athletes and participants with disabilities. There are also more women taking part, and together this shows that Jiu-Jitsu is for everybody, from adults to children.”

“Jiu-Jitsu is not only about the lifestyle, it’s also about education. If we look at its different qualities it's about self-growth, violence prevention, self-defense and respect. But it’s mainly about education, which is why it’s important for children to start very early and to learn those things and accept each other. That acceptance means going to another country where you can practice and train with everybody, respect them, and go home with new experiences.” 

Workshops were also held on “Security Awareness” led by the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police who taught the public on fire facing, evacuation, first aid and how to scientifically look for fingerprints.

Mohamed Ahmed Butti Al Shamsi said: “Today we are here at Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship to promote the year of giving, aiming to raise security awareness among the participants and fans alike. We are keen to take part in all the event hosted by UAE to provide the public with all the information on security, educational, and social awareness and care.”

Wednesday also saw the arrival of Mackenzie Dern, the number one ranked female black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and reigning two-time champion of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Dern took a practical workshop titled ‘A Hero’s Journey’ alongside legendary fighter Alexandre ‘Xande' Ribeiro, and also held a Q&A session. 

“This is my seventh year fighting in Abu Dhabi so I’ve seen it change a lot,” Dern said. "It’s crazy how much it's grown, especially for the women’s. Just to see everything that they’re doing to become like an Olympic sport, it’s exciting. It’s really cool how it’s evolved over the last seven years and I’m happy to be a part of this. 

“To have Jiu-Jitsu taught in the schools here, I don’t know of any other country that has that, so it’s crazy that they have that here in Abu Dhabi. You can tell that the Sheikh is definitely investing in the sport.”

As well as fierce competition on the mat, spectators could take part in activities for the whole family in the IPIC Fan Zone. Everyone was also able to sample the delicious food at the food trucks park, open throughout the Championship. Each day there’s also a draw for one lucky winner to win a return ticket on Etihad Airways which will take them anywhere on the Etihad Airways flight network. Spectators can even enter a draw to win a brand-new car from Premier Motors; a Jaguar XE.

On Thursday the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship continues with Adults male and female brown and black belts, and Masters 1 and 2 male brown and black belts, which starts at 11am.

Other highlights to come include the Abu Dhabi Legends live weigh-in event which will take place at 7pm Town Square, Yas Mall on 21 April; the return of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Legends, an epic clash of Jiu-Jitsu icons such as Kenny Florian, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz and Helio “Soneca” Moreira; plus the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards which recognises the talent of the sport at every level.

The event is open to all and is free to attend across the two weeks. To learn more about the event, to register and to keep up-to-date with the program please visit  

Full results can be found online at



Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2017

Tuesday, 18th April – Saturday 22nd April 2017 (5-day tournament)

Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Legends

Saturday 22nd April 2017 (New program)

Location: IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Award

Sunday 23rd April 2017 (celebration of tournament winners)

Location: Emirates Palace

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2017 is proudly supported by: 

Official Partner: International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC)

Official Media Partner: Abu Dhabi Sports Channels

Government Partner: Ministry of Interior

Official Airline: Etihad Airways

Exclusive Automotive Partner: Premier Motors and Land Rover

Diamond Sponsors: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)

Energy Partner: ADNOC

Gold Sponsors: Palm Sports, Dolphin Energy, Al Masaood Group and Emirates Global Aluminum

Exclusive Healthcare Partner: SEHA

Silver Sponsors: Al Khaja Holding, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Diamond Sword, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments, Tawazun, Senaat and International Golden Group.

Supporting partners: Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Education Council and Abu Dhabi Police GHQ

About IPIC

IPIC is the International Petroleum Investment Company, formed by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1984 to invest in the energy and related sectors across the globe. Today it manages a portfolio of investments in more than 18 leading companies across the hydrocarbon value chain, including exploration and production, shipping and pipelines, downstream retail and marketing, petrochemicals, power and utilities as well as industrial services. The company was created by The late HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates, to advance his vision of using Abu Dhabi’s natural petroleum wealth to build a modern, diversified economy for the benefit of future generations.

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