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
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,
“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
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.