UAE players smash the competition in the quarter and semi-finals at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2017
- Ibrahim al Hosani succeeds in winning the gold medal within seconds by submission
- More than 210 competitors took part on Friday at the event held in IPIC Arena
- Jiu-Jitsu legends weighed-in at Yas Mall ahead of the Legends Challenge on Saturday
April 21st 2017, Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship continued on Friday, 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, with the Emirati players reaching new levels of achievement and proving themselves like never before.
The first day of the weekend witnessed the second round of the quarter-finals and semi-finals in the men and women categories for brown and black belts, as well as the final of the Masters 1 black and brown belts.
The Emirati fighters - Faisal al Ketbi, Mohammed Al Qubaisi, Yahya Al Hamadi and Ibrahim Al Hosani - collectively won two gold medals after showing strong performances that thrilled the packed out IPIC arena, which was at its noisiest to date as those watching cheered on the fighters.
Brazil led the way after Friday’s results were confirmed with 21 medals (9 gold, 6 silver, 6 bronze); United States came second with four medals (1 gold, 3 bronze); Russia came third with three medals (1 silver, two bronze); Australia came fourth with two medals (1 gold, 1 silver); United Kingdom came fifth with two medals (1 silver, 1 bronze); United Arab Emirates came sixth with two medals (both gold); and Sweden came seventh with one medal (gold).
His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: “We thank God for the great success of this championship that was witnessed by all those who attended today. The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship has accomplished this outstanding success because of the elite players who participated and the wonderful audience who came in big numbers to watch the championship every day.
“We are happy to announce that the youth team has won several gold medals and in doing so have made the UAE very proud. At the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation we aim to present an international championship of a very high criteria, reinforcing its players to reach the highest levels in their sport. What happened in this championship is proof that we are walking on the right path towards being a globally recognised competition.
“The success of the youth players winning gold medals further shows the accomplishment of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s strategy to raise a new generation that loves jiu-jitsu from a young age. This edition of the championship has witnessed Emirati children participating, who have been doing challenges similar to adult professionals. They have been performing very well showing outstanding techniques even though they are very young.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed welcomed handicapped jiu-jitsu players and the idea was formed of adding one new category, the para jiu-jitsu, in this the ninth edition of the championship, in parallel with the UAE’s Year of Giving.
“In conclusion, I would like to thank Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for his continuous support and following the competition on Twitter.”
After winning his semi-final in the weight category of 85kg and qualifying for the final tomorrow, Faisal al Ketbi, UAE’s captain and number one ranked fighter in the country, said: “It was a good day and hopefully tomorrow will be the same. I tried my best, I followed my coach’s instructions and thanks to Allah we achieved the final.
“I tried to follow a strategy, I wanted to take down but I couldn’t. In my training sessions, I put myself in this position and I could see exactly what he wanted to do. He wanted to go for a triangle or pull my arm but he couldn’t, I waited and he got tired. Then I started pushing and tried to pass the guard until I got nine points.”
Al Ketbi will face Brazilian fighter Claudio Calasans in Saturday’s final and knows he will have an excited local crowd cheering him on once again.
“I expect myself to do my best tomorrow and hopefully we give a good show to everybody and I wish to win, in’shallah,” Al Ketbi added. “We've trained very hard and we have the same chance that Calasans has. Hopefully we get the gold.”
Later on Friday at Town Square, Yas Mall, several legendary fighters weighed-in ahead of the Legends Challenge on Saturday, including Kenny Florian, Marcel ‘Pe De Pano’ Cruz and Helio Soneca.
Saturday’s crowds will witness the final fights and gold medal winners before the championship concludes with a ceremony.
Tomorrow’s fixtures include: Yahya Al Hamadi and the Brazilian Fabio Nascimento, in the category of Masters 1 brown belts, weighing 110 kg.
Emirati Taleb Al Karbi against the Brazilian Thiago Marquez, in the Masters 1 category black belt, weighing 69 kg.
Emirati captain Faisal al Ketbi faces the Brazilian Claudio Calasans in the black belt adults men category.
Also on Saturday, 10 of the world’s most iconic jiu-jitsu competitors will compete as part of the Legends Challenge, showcasing their skills, talents and experience.
Tomorrow 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).
Away from the non-stop action on the mat, there is a family entertainment in the form of the IPIC Fan Zone which includes sponsor activities, family events, food trucks which are open from 10am – 10pm and interactive stands, making it the perfect family day-out. There’s even a chance to win exciting prizes including two brand new cars from Premier Motors that include a Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
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
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.