Winners of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship pose with officials during the presentation ceremony.
The world of jiu-jitsu united in a spectacular show of unity and tolerance as Abu Dhabi solidified its standing as the sport’s global home following an action-packed finale at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2019 on Friday.
The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
With numerous world No. 1 athletes in action, the finals of the week-long ADWPJJC 2019 saw 24 athletes from nine countries – Belgium, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, UK, USA and UAE - contested 12 World Pro titles in seven male black belt weight divisions and five female brown / black belt weight divisions.
At the end of 12 thrilling matches on the Mubadala Arena mats, Brazil topped the country rankings with a stunning total of 11 gold medals and 3 silvers. The UAE and the UK tied second overall with two silver medals. Norway came third with one gold.
The UAE won two silver medals through Faisal Al Ketbi in the men’s 85kg division and his colleague Yahia Al Hammadi in the 110kg division.
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, gave away the prizes to the winners.
At the end of the finals, Sheikh Nahyan awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the newly-crowned jiu-jitsu heroes.
Other high-profile dignitaries watching the gripping finals, included: Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qassimi, Chairman of Emirates Global Funding Group; Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, Chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union & Senior Vice President of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad bin Khalid Al Nahyan; Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Minister of the Federal Supreme Council at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Mohammad Abdullah Al Junaibi, Director of Presidential Protocols at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
After the finals, Sheikh Tariq said: “Every year the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship steps up another level. It was a great achievement for the UAE to have Faisal and Yahia in the black belt World Pro finals – they can be very proud, we all should, of their achievements.”
Major names from the world of jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts were also in attendance, including Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, who said: “This championship always attracts the best-of-the-best, but the quality is getting even higher. Abu Dhabi has done great things for our sport, in bridging the gap between amateur and professional levels, and making it accessible to people of all ages - from children through to older adults.”
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Interim Heavyweight Champion, Antenio Rodrigo Nogueira, was also in attendance.
UAEJJF Chairman praises international athletes for “amazing finale” to ADWPJJC 2019
After a successful 11th edition of the world’s most prominent jiu-jitsu competition, Hashemi, said: “Abu Dhabi and the UAE have written another exciting chapter in the pages of jiu-jitsu history. The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship continues to go from strength-to-strength, as evidenced by the truly world-class field of international champions gathered in Abu Dhabi – the global home of jiu-jitsu – this year.
In the men’s 110kg division, superstar Brazilian heavyweight Joao Gabriel Rocha, of Soul Fighters Team, submitted Hammadi while leading 4-0.
The 94kg division title was claimed by emerging Brazilian superstar Kaynan Duarte, 21, who submitted Poland’s Adam Wardzinski after only 88 seconds. With Duarte’s win adding ADWPJJC 2019 glory to two Abu Dhabi Grand Slam golds earlier this season, the Brazilian’s scintillating victory run has confirmed his rookie black belt season as a stand-out chapter in jiu-jitsu history.
In the 85kg final, a split decision by judges saw the UAE’s Faisal Al Ketbi lost to Brazil’s Rudson Matheus, 23, of Brasa Cta Team. Only seconds before the six-minute match had elapsed, Ketbi had a penalty overruled by the judges ensuring the two athletes finished their final with exactly the same scorecards of two points, one advantage and two penalties each. The Emirati hero raised his arm in victory, only to plunge to the mat in disappointment when the referee awarded the match to Matheus.
Matheus said: “I feel good with this win, I’ve waited a long time for this championship. Faisal is a great guy and he represents his country so well. It’s tough for him today, but he performed really well. I am very happy to win in Abu Dhabi - today is a good day for me.”
The championship, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will take place from 20th to 26th April at Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.
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