Omar Al Fadhli, in white, has Macley Silva pinned in the 62-kg purple belt final at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Courtesy UAE

By: Amjad Aziz Malik Secretary General AIPS ASIA

UAE, Abu Dhabi; 12 April 2021: The 12th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) witnessed yet another day of top-class action with the world’s elite athletes displaying their skills as the ‘Road to Glory’ came to a thrilling conclusion at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena, in the presence of a number of VIPs including Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

Brown and black belt professionals from around the world took to the mats at the home of jiu-jitsu with Brazil topping the country rankings taking 35 medals, including 16 gold, 11 silver and 8 bronze. Household names such as Beatriz Mesquita, BiancaBasilio, Israel Almeida, IsaqueBraz and GabrieliPessanha were among those to shine for Brazil.

And after sealing medal glory, the athletes were quick to praise ADWPJJC organizers, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, for providing them with a safe environment to compete during the pandemic.

Mesquita put in a top performance to capture her sixth adult title, taking less than a minute to win with an armbar on opponent LariPaes.

 “Today's victory is one of the most important achievements in my career,as I have been training and competing for this moment. My training in the pandemic did not stop and that was the main reason why I have captured the win again this year. Competing in a global championship against the best in the world in such unprecedented circumstances in a safe environment is a true privilege.  I would like to thank the ADPWJJC organizers for hosting such a successful international championship in these challenging times:” said Mesquita after her victory.

Compatriot Diego Batista topped the ADWPJJC podium again with gold inthe 62kg black belt division, thanks to a 4-3 victory over Hiago George.

Batista,who won the gold in the brown belt 69kg division at the 11th ADWPJJC, said: “Capturing the gold in my black belt debut at ADWJJC feels special. Great work by the ADWPJJC organizing committee to give jiu-jitsu athletes the opportunity to compete and practice the sport we love safely.”

Brazilian “Queen of the Mats” Gabrieli Passenha beat Yara Soares in a thrilling encounter to win the gold again in the women’s 95 kgs brown-black belt division. However, Brazilian athletes did not have it all their own way, as Adam Wardzinksi, from Poland, claimed his first gold, beating Brazil’s Renato Cardoso 6-4 in the 94kg black belt division. “It feels great to get my first gold after two consecutive years of winning the silver at ADWPJJC. This is one of my all-time dreams coming true and I cannot wait to come back and defend my belt in the 13th edition,” said Wardzinksi.

“I knew my opponent very well as we squared off many times in the past.  I knew he will be tough and we both had our strategical approach, and I managed to get the win at the end. For us athletes who live for this sport, the 12th edition of the championship offers us hope in the continuation of the championship in these challenging times.”

The 13thADWPJJC will take place in the Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena in November 2021.