November this year has been, perhaps, the most important one this year for AJP… And it’s been full of highlights!
From the first day of the month all the way to the 10th, the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) completely took over the birthplace of the AJP, closing the 2022-2023 season with a bang and giving warriors of all ages and graduations a last shot to rise through the rankings in the Mubadala Arena one last time in this season.
Let’s take a look at some of the best moments of the ADWPJJC 2023, as delivered to you by AJP.
Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023: Hiago George and Renato Cardoso take the spotlight on the seventh day of the competition
On November 6th and 7th, the battle-hardened Masters put on their gis and made their way to the AJP mats for one last showing of prowess and experience in the 2022-2023 season. With a hefty cash prize and a motherlode of ranking points on the line, athletes rose to the battlefield with blood in their eyes and fire in their hearts, ready to face each other for the honorable title of ADWPJJC champion.
Fighting in the 62kg division, the Brazilian Hiago George spared no effort to conquer another title in the UAE. A known player in AJP tournaments, Hiago went up against the Kazakh Nariman Mynbayev in the final round, offering his opponent no respite as he unleashed the full might of his game to take the win. The match began with Nariman pulling a half-guard, but it wasn’t long before Hiago reached side control and positioned himself ahead on the scoreboard. The Brazilian then went on to disconnect, pass the guard, and mount twice in a row, closing the duel with an astounding 18-0 to climb the podium.
Meanwhile, the UAE-based Brazilian Renato Cardoso was a one-man show in the 94kg division. After beating the famous Jackson Sousa in the semis, Renato reached the gold round against Roberto Dib Frias and the match began with the latter rising from the double pull and taking the lead in the scoreboard. However, it didn’t take long for Renato to adjust himself and start attacking his opponent’s leg, quickly trapping Roberto with a leglock and taking the win via submission in the Mubadala Arena.
Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023: Check how each of the champions rose to become Heroes
After the Masters dialed the heat up to eleven, the moment everyone was waiting for had come. From November 8th to the 10th, it was time for the powerhouses of the Professional Black Belt category to take the stage and put on a true show to the crowds. And what a show it was.
In the 56kg bracket, Yuri Hendrex outscored Zayed Alkhateeri by 3-0, while Meyram Maquiné scored once and then focused on neutralizing Khaled Alshehi to become the 62kg division champion. Diego Sodré stormed through the 69kg division and beat Sebastian Serpa to defend his ADWPJJC title, and the Portuguese duo Pedro “Paquito” Ramalho and Bruno Lima surprised everyone by defeating the favorites Lucas Protásio and Uanderson Ferreira in the 77kg and 85kg divisions respectively. The 95kg division saw Fellipe Andrew become a two-time ADWPJJC champion after locking a toe hold on Renan Cruz and Felipe Bezerra scored 5-2 to beat Anton Seleznev and seize the 120kg gold.
On the women’s side, Mayssa Bastos took the 49kg title after submitting Margarita Ochoa with a Baratoplata, Anna Rodrigues scored 5-0 to snatch the 55kg gold from Alexa Yanes, Julia Alves took 30 seconds to lock Violeta Angelova in an armbar, and Ingridd Alves climbed the 70kg podium after outscoring Nia Blackman by 2-1. Last but not least, Gabrieli Pessanha used a straight footlock to submit Yara Soares and take her fifth title in Abu Dhabi.
The season 2023-2024 is already here!
While the ADWPJJC is arguably the most important tournament of the year, it is also a turning point that signals the end of the previous season and the start of the new one, locking the rankings and starting everything anew for the following year. The 2023-2024 season officially began on November 18th, with a brand-new batch of tournaments kicking off the race for the next ADWPJJC, with competitors wasting no time at all and jumping at the chance to get a headstart on this season’s ranking counts.
Among the best of the early birds, the Brazilian Gustavo Pereira and Poland’s Pawel Kozlowski managed to stand out by conquering the double gold in their respective tournaments. Flying under the Top Brother Europe banner, Gustavo Pereira was a headache for all his opponents at the AJP Tour Frankfurt International Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023, which took place on November 18th at the BudoArena Maintal. He began by submitting the local Burak Basak and his teammate Renan Malheiro in the 85kg division to land his first gold, but soon after made his way to the Open Heavyweight division, where he handed out submissions to Darlan Nepomuceno, Jimmy Eyinck and, for the second time, Renan Malheiro to climb the podium yet again.
A week later, it was Pawel Kozlowski’s turn to shine, this time at the AJP Tour Valencia International Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023. On November 25th, Pawel made his way to the Pabellón Municipal Benicalap, where he put on his gi and strode onto the battlefield to fight for the 77kg division title. His opponent in the bracket was Josue Wong, a Mexican athlete who gave Pawel a run for his money in the final, which took the entirety of the regulated time and ended at a 2-0 for the Polish. However, one gold wasn’t enough for Pawel and the champ returned to the mats gunning for the no-gi 77kg title. In the bracket, he faced the Venezuelan Paul Salazar and, after five minutes of intense fighting, Pawel climbed the podium once again, by a 4-1 score.
Other highlights include Radoslav Bukorov, Alexander Alexandar, Zaiferia Panagiotarakou, Darryl Lebus, Yan “Pica-Pau” Paiva, Davi Cabral, Alejandro Carreras, and Yury Pashkovich, all Professional black belts who managed to conquer the gold medal in the very first month of the 2023-2024 season.
UPCOMING: Nationals and Internationals around the world end 2023 on a high note
December is the last month of this year, but as you must know by now, there’s never a dull moment here at AJP. This month, we’ll be maintaining our weekly tournaments and giving our athletes and fans the chance to experience Jiu-Jitsu wherever they are before the new year, so look forward to more action-packed weekends with AJP.
With the Slovenia National and Chuy Regional both taking place on December 2nd, here’s a list with the dates and locations for the upcoming Internationals: Tallinn (December 3rd), Salvador (December 3rd), Tokyo (December 9th-10th), Funza (December 9th), and João Pessoa (December 17th).
After these tournaments, AJP will enter a brief recess and will return in full force for 2024, starting with the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo on January 13th.
Keep your eyes peeled for more news on that front as we get closer to the big day!