ABU DHABI: The greatest stars of international jiu-jitsu returned to the sport’s most coveted hub on the planet, the capital of jiu-jitsu, Abu Dhabi.
The final leg of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour 2022-2023 (ADGS – Abu Dhabi) took place on May 5-7 at the Mubadala Arena in the UAE’s Zayed Sports City.
The championship, considered one of the most significant events in the global jiu-jitsu calendar, boasts impressive prizes totaling $1,525,000 for the first-place holders of the season. The ADGS will make its final stop of the season in the UAE capital after visiting Rio de Janeiro, Miami, Sydney and London.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) and Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu Pro (AJP) jointly organised the event, which was open to male and female players from various clubs and academies worldwide. The championship also hosted a kids and youth category, which took to mats on the first day, masters on the second day, and professionals on the third day. The event received an overwhelming response, with increased registration for participation over the three-day period.
Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Deputy Chairman of the UAEJJF, said, “Abu Dhabi Grand Slam is one of the most prominent jiu-jitsu championships in the world, and it is one of the few tournaments whose rounds are held in major country capitals and cities. The championship returns in its current round to the UAE capital, which will further cement Abu Dhabi’s position as the world’s destination for champions from around the world.”
“The championship provides an excellent opportunity for UAE players to compete with the world’s top athletes, enabling them to enhance their skills and performance, and prepare for the upcoming regional, continental, and international competitions,” Al Dhaheri added.
According to Al Dhaheri, UAE players have experienced notable success in recent years, including their remarkable achievement of winning the Asian Championship title for three consecutive years. His Excellency noted that the players’ participation and experience in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam tours had highly contributed to sharpening their skills and honing their performance at major international events.
“Abu Dhabi Grand Slam is considered one of the most important events in the annual AJP calendar because it awards 3000 points to the first-place winners, which would help them qualify to win the prestigious Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards,” said Tariq Al-Bahri, Director General of the AJP. “These tours serve as a platform that brings various athletes from all over the world together to engage in intense competitions and share experiences. Jiu-jitsu is a sport that brings people together and shortens distances, and Abu Dhabi continues to play a significant role in providing a perfect venue for global athletes to engage with each other, develop and promote this sport, aligning with its reputation as the world’s jiu-jitsu capital.”
Elsewhere, Tácio Carneiro, a black belt from the Vision BJJ academy who competes in the under-120 kg professional category, said, “I always make sure to attend all of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour events, and I organize my schedule in a way that ensures I never miss them. My goal is to achieve the highest possible ranking points in Abu Dhabi.”
Among the most popular athletes, Lucas Protásio and Julia Alves, leaders of the 2021-2022 ranking, have already secured their spots at the event. Aiming to repeat their feat in the 2022-2023 season, they will have to overcome other heavy hitters who have their eyes on the prize, such as Yuri Hendrex, Zayed Alkatheeri, Alexa Yanes, Rose el Sharouni, Catriel Oliveira, Uanderson Ferreira, Thiago Macedo, Hiago George, Ingridd Alves, Leonardo Mario, Renato Cardoso, and Yatan Bueno.