THE 9TH ANNUAL ABU DHABI WORLD PROFESSIONAL JIU-JITSU CHAMPIONSHIP CONCLUDES WITH THE WORLD’S ELITE COMPETING AT THE GLOBAL HOME OF JIU-JITSU
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, watched from the front row alongside Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan
UAE came second in the final results table with a total of 32 medals - 15 gold, 16 silver, 1 bronze
World-class athletes and Legend fighters descended on the UAE capital to compete for world titles and a prize fund of up to AED 3 million
April 22, 2017, Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum today attended the final day of the 9th successive Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, 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, and awarded medals to the winners.
Also in attendance was Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Khalid al Nahyan, Sheikh Saeed bin Juma bin Maktoum al Maktoum, Sheikh Tariq bin Faisal Al Qasimi and H.E Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education for the UAE. His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, was also in attendance. The dignitaries watched the final day of the championship which closed out the different weight categories of men and women in brown and black belts, as well as the Battle of the Legends competitors.
Held at the IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City, from the 10th April, the pinnacle event welcomed over 7,000 competitors from more than 100 countries to the ‘home of Jiu-Jitsu’ for two weeks of gripping competition, fighting it out for a prize fund of AED 3 million. This year’s competition also included the new category of para jiu-jitsu, the first time it’s been involved in a major competition.
Speaking at the end of the championship, Al Hashemi said: “The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has become an international festival and regular fixture that the best players from all over the world look forward to. Passing the qualifies and reaching the final stages is an achievement in itself, confirming Abu Dhabi’s status as the capital of jiu-jitsu.
“We are continuing the work to prepare a future generation of champions in the sport. We have an amazing generation of players in various age categories. We are constantly working on developing programmes to improve and enable them to advance and compete on an international level, and raise the UAE flag in the future years.”
Once again, the venue was at full capacity on the final day with thousands of jiu-jitsu fans cheering loudly throughout the gold-medal fights, as local and international names competed alongside legends of the sport in what was the greatest moving day in the championship’s table so far.
The UAE’s players from the youth to the adult team proved yet again that they are some of the best in the sport. That was witnessed on Friday when Ibrahim al Hosny and Mohammed al Qabassi won the gold medals for their categories.
On Saturday, the UAE was represented by UAE captain Faisal al Ketbi, Talib Al Kirbi, Ahmed al Maazmi and Yahya Mansour.
Mansour, fighting in the 110 kg Master 1 brown belt category, dominated his match against Brazilian Fabio Nascimento. After scoring two points early on when he reversed a takedown attempt, Mansour proceeded to control the rest of the fight and close out the victory to take UAE’s first gold medal of the day.
“The level of competition is getting better every year and I am very happy to win this gold medal after a very tough final fight,” Mansour said after his victory.
“I was the underdog and was not expected to win but I went on the mat, gave my best effort and managed to get the victory and raise the UAE flag. Thanks to the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, jiu-jitsu is booming in the UAE and being embraced by all parts of the community, and the UAE has climbed up to second place behind Brazil.”
Al Kirbi, Al Maazmi and Al Ketbi also all added silver medals to the UAE’s tally.
Saturday’s results were as follows: Brazil came first with 27 medals (14 gold, 7 silver, 6 bronze). United States came second with 10 medals (3 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze). UAE came third with four medals (1 gold, 3 silvers). Australia came fourth with one medal (bronze). Japan came fifth with one medal (bronze). United Kingdom came sixth with one medal (silver).
The final results for the professional championship are as follows: Brazil came first with a total of 184 (68 gold, 53 silver, 63 bronze). UAE came second with 32 medals (15 gold, 16 silver, 1 bronze). United States came third with 29 models (10 gold, 11 silver, 8 bronze). Russia came fourth with 20 medals (6 gold, 4 silver, 10 bronze). United Kingdom came fifth with 12 medals (4 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze). Australia came sixth with 8 medals (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze).
The final Saturday of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship also hosted the Battle of the Legends, with some of the most famous names in the sport’s history competing against each other once again, reigniting old feuds reminiscent of their famous battles.
The highlight match - Wellington ‘Megaton’ Dias versus Helio Moreira - lived up to its billing with the two senior stars showing ferocious energy from the start. With his daughter, jiu-jitsu star Mackenzie Dern, in his corner Diaz was on top early on with Moreira scrambling to defend. ‘Megaton’ maintained the dominant position for over half the fight, but Moreira eventually flipped Diaz onto his back, picking up two points in the process before holding on for the win.
The two legends of the sport embraced each other afterwards with Moreira holding Diaz’s hand aloft in a sign of great sportsmanship between the two icons, which the crowd duly appreciated.
“It was a very tough day for me because after 22 years I fought again. I could not have enough time to train, I trained for three weeks for this fight, but the mat is my land,” Moreira said after his fight.
“I was about to give up but my coach motivated me that I could sweep [Diaz]. I have the best opponent in the world, he’s my idol.
“This competition in Abu Dhabi is amazing. I don’t want to fight again in my life, but I decided to be retired one more time here.”
Also in the Battle of the Legends, Vitor Robiero dominated Keneth Florian before choking him out, and Alexandre Freitas beat Baret Yoshida after leading early on.
Elsewhere on the mat on Saturday, the highly-anticipated men’s 94 kg black belt final saw reigning champion Felipe Pena take on the exciting Adam Wardzinski. Pena controlled the fight from the start, picking up a succession of points before eventually submitting his Polish opponent.
The final of the female 90 kg brown and black belt division saw Talita Nogueira take on world number one Nathiely Karoline Melo de Jesus. Jesus clearly had a strategy and put it to good effect, going to the floor from the start and forcing Nogueira into making a move. Jesus quickly reversed her opponent and won two points. Nogueira fought back late on picking up two points, but Jesus quickly responded and won four points to two.
The final match of the championship was the men’s 110 kg black belt final, which saw Jose Junior taking on Ireland’s Christopher Bowe. Junior picked up two points within seconds the fight starting and never looked like giving up his lead, eventually taking the gold medal to round up a fantastic weekend for the Brazilian.
During championship, the IPIC Arena hosted many initiatives such as awareness and cultural initiatives, health and fitness, security, happiness, energy and sustainability, Emirati culture and tourism. There were many workshops which were supported by the championship’s partners with several focusing on different subjects such as courses for referees and players.
The winner of the Jaguar XE - which has been one of the prizes offered by Premier Motors throughout the competition - was also decided on Saturday.
Tomorrow, April 23rd, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation will host the Annual Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards Night at Emirates Palace Hotel. The memorable evening will recap the successful 2016/17 season and honour the key players, schools and clubs who have helped to grow the sport in the UAE over the past 12 months.
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.