The time is almost upon us. The Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship is back, bringing with it all the glory as it celebrates its 15 years across ten days of competition.
From November 1st to the 10th, athletes from Kids and Youths to Professionals and Masters will make their way to the famous Mubadala Arena, in the UAE, to put their skills to the test on the ultimate stage as the flames of battle rage on the very heart of the organization.
While every athlete will have their chance to shine on this battlefield, the celebration will heat up on November 8th, as the Professional black belts make their way to the stage for the country qualifiers, aiming to secure their spot in the main brackets on November 9th, to fight for the gold and glory in Abu Dhabi.
After each champion has taken their throne and all the pieces are finally in place, the very best AJP has to offer will make their way to the mats once more, as the Heroes of the 2022-2023 season will be revealed in the closing ceremony of the championship.
Ahead of the competition, check out below the highlights of each weight division in the Professional black belt category and don’t miss the action, live at AJPTour.tv.
Men’s GI / Black / Professional
Zayed Alkatheeri comes to defend his title from last year, looking to further cement his name in the history of UAE Jiu-Jitsu. In the same bracket, we have the always dangerous Yuri Hendrex, motivated to win the tournament and accumulate the points needed to reign first in the AJP rankings. Still in the bracket, the Finnish Marko Oikarainen brings his competition background to stabilize the dispute, while renowned names such as Thalison Soares and Rodrigo Oliveira seek their place in the main bracket, battling a day earlier in the Brazil Qualifier.
The current leader of the AJP ranking, Leonardo Mario arrives as the favorite in a group full of dangerous fighters. In addition to Meyram Maquiné, who returns to defend his title in the division, we have the exciting UAE highlights Khaled Alshehhi and Sultan Alowais. Not to mention the Brazil Qualifier bracket, with Wagner Chrispim, Andrew Santos, and Iago Chagas seeking a place to fight for the title.
Diego Sodré returns even more prepared to defend his 69kg division title belt. Eyeing the same place on the podium, Thiago Macedo and Jeferson Fagundes from Brazil join other AJP highlights, such as Florian Bayili, from Belgium, and Sebastian Serpa, from the USA. In the qualifiers, we have the experienced Thiago Marques competing for the last Brazilian spot against hungry contenders Israel Almeida and Alessandro Botelho, as well as Alex Sodre, who joins the roster as one of the toughest in the group. Still keeping an eye on the main bracket, Mohamed Saleh and Saeed Mohammed head out to fight for a place to represent the UAE.
Lucas Protasio is well-acquainted with the path to victory and aims to repeat the results of the ADWPJJC 2022 with a new title in this 15th edition. Ready to ruin the Brazilian’s plans, countryman Andre Cantanhede comes boasting the many medals earned this season, and Max Lindblad is locked and loaded to show the strength of his Swedish style in Jiu-Jitsu. In the Brazil Qualifier, names like Caio Almeida, Thiago Bravo, Adriano Araujo, and Jhonathan “Moicano” Pessanha will be looking for a place in the main bracket one day earlier.
UAE star Faisal Al Ketbi confirmed his return to the ADWPJJC mats and will have a complicated bracket ahead of him. Names like Uanderson Ferreira and Levi Jones-Leary are already guaranteed in the main bracket, not to mention Jansen Gomes and Pedro Neto, who will be competing for a place with 16 other countrymen in the Brazil Qualifier. The 85kg division promises some big thrills.
Catriel Rodrigues returns to the biggest stage of world Jiu-Jitsu to defend his 2022 title. In the same bracket, in addition to Marcos Carrozzino and Panamanian standout Javier Barter, we have names in the Brazil Qualifier like Fellipe Andrew, last year’s champion in the 85kg division, and other highlights such as Luiz Betta, Renato Cardoso, Igor Souza, and Felipe “Besouro” Mauricio.
Among the heaviest, in addition to last year’s champion Yatan Bueno, other highlights include Anton Minenko, Sean Goolsby, and Eldar “Yakusa” Rafigaev, as well as the newcomer from Australia Nico Maglicic, in his first major tournament as a black belt.
Women’s GI / Brown/Black / Professional
Brenda Larissa arrives as the athlete to beat in the 49kg division, riding high on the title she won last year. However, in addition to having Diana and Thais Teixeira in the bracket, and UAE highlights Wadima Alyafei and Shouq Aldhanhani, Brenda might run into the tough-as-nails Mayssa Bastos in the main bracket, with the latter facing Flavia Quintareli in the Brazil Qualifier.
Anna Rodrigues chose to compete again this year and defend her title in the 55kg division. She’ll have to go through the likes of the countrywoman Isadora Maggioni, the American Alexa Yanes, and the Dutch Rose El-Sharoune to see this mission through. And that’s not to mention the Brazil Qualifier, which will feature names like Gabriela Pereira and Beatriz Campos fighting for a spot in the main bracket.
Julia Alves arrives as the favorite in the bracket, having won the ADWPJJC last year and most of the major tournaments this year, on her way to the World Pro. In the same bracket, high-caliber opponents such as Yara Kakish and Puerto Rican Alanis Santiago are eyeing that same gold medal. In the Brazil Qualifier, names like Larissa Martins, Maria Luiza Nunes, and Dayane Bazzoni are fighting to save their place in the gold run.
Ingridd Alves comes full throttle in the division after winning many AJP tournaments around the world. Izadora Silva, the reigning champ, is also in the bracket, as are Australian Nikki Lloyd-Griffiths and black belt Leticia Cardozo. At the Brazil Qualifier, the highlight is the young Vitoria Gabriella, Giovanna Carneiro, and Maria Carolina Vincentini, all ready to put on a show to reach the main stage.
Gabrieli Pessanha and Yasmira Dias are already guaranteed in the main bracket of the 95kg division. But things could be spiced up even further if we look at the Brazil Qualifier, which will feature duels between Giovanna Jara, Tamiris Silva, and Yara Soares, all well-equipped to take Gabi Pessanha’s title belt.