ABU DHABI WORLD PROFESSIONAL JIU-JITSU CHAMPIONSHIP HEADS FOR SPECTACULAR FINALE
Abu Dhabi, UAE – April 25, 2019: The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2019 is poised for a dramatic conclusion following a sensational day of world-class drama at Mubadala Arena on Thursday.
The penultimate day of the ADWPJJC 2019 saw 210 athletes from 52 countries take to the Mubadala Arena mats in 19 divisions which included the semi-finals for male black belt and female brown / black belt contests, and finals for male brown belts.
In-front of an expectant and passionate crowd of feverous jiu-jitsu fans, the line-ups for Friday’s seven male black belt and five female brown/black belt Finals were fixed, with seven male brown weight division also being concluded.
At the end of the day, Brazil was the top-ranked nation with five gold medals, two silver and two bronze; Portugal was second with one gold, one silver and one bronze; and Norway was third with one gold and one bronze.
UAEJJF poised for “grandstand finish” to ADWPJJC 2019
With some of the sport’s biggest stars and brightest young talent reaching the ADWPJJC 2019 finals, His Excellency Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Acting Executive Director of Education Affairs Sector, is anticipating a drama-filled finale.
“As we celebrate the 11th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, we are anticipating a grandstand finish to herald the beginning of what will be a glorious championship’s second decade for a world-class event which continues to underline Abu Dhabi’s standing as the home of jiu-jitsu,” said Al Dhaheri.
Local heroes Faisal Al Ketbi and Yahia Al Hammadi to make World Pro Final debuts
With seven male black belt and five female brown/black weight division titles on the line in Friday’s finals, athletes from nine countries will battle for the gold medals.
In the men’s 110kg division, superstar Brazilian heavyweight Joao Rocha will face the UAE’s Yahia Al Hammadi, from Team 777, who won a judges’ decision in his semi-final clash with Belgium’s Paulo Brasil Da Silva. The match marks Al Hammadi’s first World Pro final.
“This win is for President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s rulers and all the people of the country. I hope to win the gold medal and wish for the people of the UAE to support,” said Al Hammadi.
The 94kg division title will be contested by emerging Brazilian superstar Kaynan Duarte, 21, who has won two consecutive Abu Dhabi Grand Slam events in his first full season at black belt, and Poland’s Adam Wardzinski.
The 85kg final will be a face-off between the UAE’s Faisal Al Ketbi, 31, also of Team 777, and Brazil’s Rudson Matheus, 23, of Brasa Cta Team.
“It feels very nice to be in the final,” said Al Ketbi, who is also contesting his first World Pro final. “I’ve had a very hard season training with my new coaches and building a strategy for this event – it’s gone the right way and we’ll have a good strategy for the final. It’s always nice having so much support and it’s a responsibility that I cherish.”
The 77kg division will see the UK’s Oliver Lovell and Norway’s Tommy Langaker go head-to-head in the only black belt final not featuring a Brazilian athlete, while the USA’s Isaac Doederlein and Brazil’s Paolo Miyao will face-off in with 69kg final.
The 62kg final will be contested by Brazilian duo Joao Gabriel Sousa, the world No. 1, and Joao Miyao, with fellow Brazilians Hiago George and Carlos Alberta Silva battling for 56kg gold.
Bronze medal winners confirmed in male black belt divisions
With dozens of athletes progressing to the male black belt finals, seven athletes claimed bronze in various weight divisions. Third-place medals were won by Japan’s Massaki Todokoro, from Paraestra Tokyo Club, at 56kg; Mexico’s Alexis Alduncin, from Renzo Grazie Mexico Club, at 62kg; Germany’s Jan Basso, from NS Brotherhood Team, at 69kg; Brazil’s Diego Ramalho, from Zr Team Association, at 77kg; American DJ Jackson, from Lloyd Irvin M.A. Club, at 85kg; Australia’s Anton Minenko, from Garra BJJ Academy, at 94kg; and Brazil’s Ricardo Evangelista, from Commando Group Team, at 110kg.
“I feel really good because this is my biggest tournament yet at black belt. I’m very happy to get on to the podium with third-place and a bronze medal,” said Basso, the world No. 9.
The line-up for brown/black belt women’s Finals decided
Athletes from six countries will contest five category finals in the women’s brown/black belt weight categories. The 49kg division final will see Brazilian GF Team colleagues Mayssa Bastos and Thamires Aquino square-off, while Belgium’s Amal Amjahid will defend her 55kg title against Brazil’s Bianca Basilio.
Brazil’s Beatriz Mesquita and the UK’s Ffion Davies will face-off in the 62kg final, with Brazil’s Thamara Silva and New Zealand’s Alessandra Moss locking horns in the 70kg final. The heavyweight 90kg final will be contested by France’s Claire France Thevenon and 18-year-old Brazilian superstar, Gabrielli Pessanha, the current world No.1.
Bronze medal winners confirmed in female brown/black belt divisions
Third-place medals in the women’s brown/black belt divisions were claimed by Italy’s Serena Gebrielle, from Flow Team, at 49kg; Brazil’s Ana Rodrigues, from Alliance Team, at 55kg; South Korea’s Kira Sung, from Jiu-Jitsu Lab, at 62kg; the UK’s Samantha Cook, from Checkmat International Team, at 70kg; and Nathiely Melo De Jesus, from Rodrigo Pinheiro Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club, at 90kg.
“I’m upset because it’s my second time winning bronze in Abu Dhabi. I was here for the win, but I’ve gained some experience and I will be back stronger next year,” said Gebrielle.
Male brown belt winners celebrate ADWPJJC victory
Seven male brown belt weight divisions were also concluded on Thursday, with Brazil the big winner. Gold medal winners included Brazil’s Thalison Soares at 56kg, Norway’s Huseyn Abaszada at 62kg, Brazil’s Diego Batista at 69kg, Brazil’s Jeferson Guaresi at 77kg, Brazil’s Ronaldo Junior at 85kg, Brazil’s Jonnatas Gracie at 94kg, and Portugal’s Guilherme Jardim at110kg.
“I’ve lost a lot in the last two years, so I’ve been training hard because it’s been so demotivating. I knew one day my chance would come and today’s that day. It’s amazing because I honestly don’t remember the last time I won anything,” said Abaszada.
Batista, who added a brown belt gold to a blue belt gold won in Abu Dhabi two years ago, said: “It was a good match, but I didn’t fight too much because I was afraid of making errors. I’m really happy to have won my second World Pro event in the home of jiu-jitsu.”
For more information on the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2019, visit www.uaejjf.com