• 20 / Apr / 2017


  • More than 350 male and female players fought it out in today’s competition

  • “Regional Tourism” initiative consolidates Abu Dhabi’s position as a global regional tourist destination

UAE, Abu Dhabi, 20 April: Excitement filled the IPIC Arena on the third day of 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. Elite Jiu-Jitsu players showed off their talents and techniques in front of thousands of Jiu-Jitsu fans who flocked to the Arena from all over the world and millions followed the Championship developments on TV.


Today’s competition saw the first round of the qualifiers kick off in the adult, male and female finals as well as in the masters 1 & 2 male categories in the brown and black belt divisions.

More than 350 players from 25 countries took part in today’s competition which saw the UAE National team display brilliant techniques and skills with Ahmad Al Ketbi taking gold in the masters 2 category, 69 kg.

Speaking after his win Al Ketbi said: “I dedicate my win to our royal family, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and to the Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation H.E. Abdulmunem Al Sayed Mohammed Al Hashmi.  Thank you to the Federation for developing the sport to such a high level and because of them Abu Dhabi has now become the global capital of Jiu-Jitsu.”

“The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation supports us tremendously.  They have helped us to build our self-confidence and overcome the elite players from Brazil, Russia and the United States of America.  We are now competing in world championships around the world and are excelling and winning medals.”

UAE National Team member Obeid Al Kaabi also won a bronze medal in the masters 2 category in the 69 kg division brown belt category proving his ability to compete against the world’s elite players.

Brazil continued to dominate the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship medal table with 9 medals (4 gold,3 silver,2 bronze). USA finished second with 6 medal (3 gold, 3 silver), UK finished in third place with 4 medals (1 gold, 3 silver), Canada finished in fourth place with 2 medals (1 gold,1 silver), Kazakhstan in fifth place with 2 medals (1 gold, 1 silver) and UAE in sixth place with 2 medals (1 gold and 1 bronze).

Today the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship initiative was "Regional Tourism" in partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority. Activities to promote Abu Dhabi as a global tourist, sports, medical and educational destination were promoted throughout the day in the IPIC Fan Zone and across the Arena. Abu Dhabi is a great destination for visitors wishing to enjoy the world-class tourism, culture and entertainment.  The Capital has lots to offer which reflects the position of Abu Dhabi and has excellent services, landmarks and facilities.

Mr Mohamad Sultan Al Zaabi, representative of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority said: “Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority gives great importance to tourism in general, and sports tourism in Abu Dhabi in particular, which is a forum for fans and sports enthusiasts from around the world. Sports and its facilities in many cities contribute to the economy and the development by hosting international sporting events."

He Added: “We are keen to support and participate in all the sporting activities and events which enriches Abu Dhabi on the sports, tourism, economy and culture levels.”

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.

Jiu-Jitsu aficionados, sports enthusiasts, families and entertainments seekers alike are waiting in anticipation for the ninth edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which will take place on 22nd April at the IPIC Arena.  The home crowd will of course be cheering for the local Jiu-Jitsu talent who will test themselves against a record number of international participants from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Portugal, UK and USA as all seek points towards their professional ranking and take the number one spot on the podium. Not only that, Saturday will see the return of the Abu Dhabi Legends who will battle it out on the mat for five gold belts in the ultimate clash of talent. 

Fights will take place between Bantamweight legends Wellington “Megaton” Dias (Brazil) and Helio “Soneca” Moreira (Brazil); Lightweight legends Alexandre “Soca” Freitas (USA) and Baret Yoshida (USA); Welterweight legends Kenny Florian (USA) and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (Brazil); Middleweight legends Amaury Bitetti (Brazil) and Roberto “Spider” Traven (USA); and Heavyweight legends Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz (Brazil) and Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (Brazil).

Jiu-Jitsu icon Kenny Florian, welterweight legend, who will be competing for the USA on Saturday said: “The competition has been amazing - everything has been first class from the moment I stepped off the plane. Being here and seeing the venue fired me up immediately as it was especially created for Jiu-Jitsu and is nothing like I’ve ever seen in the world! Just feeling the energy of the people around and seeing all the Jiu-Jitsu stars that are here is inspiring.”

“People should definitely come and check out the Legends matches as these are guys who have built their reputations on winning a lot of medals and it’s very exciting in the process. That’s something I’ve always tried to pride myself on - win or lose, try to bring action, try to be smart, and try to show the beauty of Jiu-Jitsu and I think that is what everyone is going to see with the Legends fights.”

Commenting on his match against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (BRA) Florian said: “When I go into a fight I try not to have any expectations – I use to worry so much about doing this or that on the mat, but if you get into it too much you actually get away from what you really need to do in the moment. I try to stay as present as possible and read everything that he is trying to do - Ribeiro does a lot of things well so I can’t just be ready for one thing, I have to be ready for everything! If my mind is open I’ll be able to see that and react appropriately”.

Tomorrow spectators will also get to witness the second round eight finals, quarter finals and semi-finals in the adult, male and female and masters 1 male brown and black belt categories.

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 and 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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