• 02 / Apr / 2019

As the world’s elite jiu-jitsu athletes fix their collective gaze on the UAE capital ahead of this month’s 11th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which is 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, Abu Dhabi is once again readying to welcome established champions, contenders and future greats in the undisputed global home of jiu-jitsu.

Reigning world champions and future kings and queens of the mat from more than 100 countries will collide in the UAE capital from 20-26 April at Mubadala Arena, at Zayed Sports City.


The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is globally renowned as the stage where dreams come true for jiu-jitsu athletes, from Brazil – a traditional hotbed of the sport - to the US, UK, Russia, Kazakhstan and beyond.


Top talent from Saudi Arabia and home heroes from the UAE will fly the flag for the region in Abu Dhabi, the home of jiu-jitsu, in male and female competitions, with thousands of athletes battling for titles across age ranges and belts, from blue to black.


With crucial end-of-season ranking points up for grabs, ADWPJCC is a huge draw for the world’s biggest stars, who aspire to win the most prestigious titles and cash prizes at this prestigious tournament, the largest on the global jiu-jitsu calendar and a dream for athletes and fans alike.


Commenting on the success of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and setting the scene for an enthralling week-long 2019 edition, His Excellency Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: “The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2019 will bring people together, athletes with dreams and determination, in the spirit of champions. Fans will experience gripping contests featuring the world’s top athletes. Additionally, we want the UAE public to come and support the local athletes and help create a last legacy for jiu-jitsu in the UAE.”


One of the thousands eyeing a winning end to the 2018-19 season in Abu Dhabi is reigning world no. 1 black belt, João Gabriel Batista De Sousa, from Brazil.


“I am coming from a good season,” says De Sousa. “Having faced great fighters all season, I have set my goals and believe that anything can be achieved in Abu Dhabi with the right mindset. I am focused and training hard to give my best performance. I want to finish the season on a high note and be crowned world champion at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.”


The ultimate champions in varying weight and belt categories may yet prove to hail from closer to home – perhaps even from home.


Backed by the UAE’s visionary leadership, including HH Sheikh Mohammed, the sport is now firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of Emirati athletes. Most begin practising jiu-jitsu at school - the sport is part of the physical education curriculum – and the chance to win a world title in front of home fans provides a tangible appeal.


“The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is one of the biggest sporting events and my ultimate goal, through determination and desire, is to win the title and honour our country and supporters – it would be a dream victory,” says UAE athlete Mohamed Khalifa Matar Al Kaabi, aged 23.


“Abu Dhabi is the home of jiu-jitsu and while I would like to thank the Federation for organising this mega event, I would love to win a title and dedicate it to them. The Federation is helping UAE athletes become internationally competitive and reach new heights on the global stage. We look forward to welcoming world-class athletes and highlighting how far the UAE has come.” 


The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2019 is open to all nationalities, with the week-long schedule encompassing the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival & Para Jiu-Jitsu Competitions on 20 April, the Abu Dhabi World Youth Championship on 21 and 22 April, the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship on 23 April, and the professional competitions for blue to black belt from 24 to 26 April.

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