There was more reason for Jose Junior to celebrate after finally claiming his first gold Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship gold while UAE’s Yahya Mansour reigned supreme in the Brown Belt Masters category for the third straight year.
Just 24 hours after clinching the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) World No.1 title, the 32-year-old Abu Dhabi-based Junior finally stood top of the podium in the 110kg black belt after seven attempts following his 2-0 win over Ireland’s Chris Bowe.
The Brazilian, who has lived in the UAE since 2009, was lost for words on his victory.
“It is a dream come true and it’s very special for me,” he said. “It is a double delight and special day for me. Last night despite winning the World No 1 title I couldn’t sleep because I knew today is another important day for me. There were a lot of emotions going through my mind and I don’t know how to react.”
Mansour was watched by Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the Emirati ensured there was something to cheer for the home crowd. He defeated Brazil’s Fabio Nascimento 2-0 to clinch the Brown Masters 1, 110kg division.
The feat was even more remarkable considering Mansour has won every tournament he has entered this season.
“It was a good contest and I was confident going into the fight. I like to thank all my coaches and the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation for their support,” he said. “I’m No 1 Brown Belt Masters and couldn’t have asked for a better finish.
“I will keep working hard in the black belt which I will get soon and that will be different challenge altogether. I will try to do a repeat for all the competitions in the coming season.”
There was disappointment for UAE’s top-ranked Faisal Al Ketbi, whose wait for Abu Dhabi gold in the black belt continues for another 12 months.
Al Ketbi, who has been competing in the highest category for two years, lost to Brazil’s Claudio Calasans 6-0 in his 85kg final. For Calasans, the result meant he went on further than last year.
“I had won here between 2010 and 2012 and this is my fourth gold in this competition so I’m really happy,” he said.
“I haven’t missed any of the tournaments but for the past few years I have not won gold. I was determined to win it this time round. Al Ketbi is a strong fighter but I had the fight in control like all my previous seven fights. I will definitely come here next year to defend the title.”
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Felipe Pena claimed his second gold in consecutive years with victory in the 94kg division while Gianni Grippo of USA, beat Brazil’s and Al Ain-based Tiago Bravo in the 69kg final.