Ana Carolina is making it a habit of winning gold at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
At just 24, she has already won three golds in four years (2013, 2014 and 2017) and added yet another to her collection in the brown/belt 70kg final at the Mubadala Arena.
Up against Jessica Swanson, the Brazilian showed her class with an impressive 9-0 win. She immediately set her sights on winning the World Championship in California in June.
“This was good preparation for me for that tournament,” said Carolina. “Although it was a 9-0 win, it wasn’t easy by any means. Every fight that I compete in is important and now I want to go and continue my good form in California.”
Meanwhile, Angelica Galvao weighs just 65kg, but the American showed it’s agility and skill that matters on the mat as she retired from jiu-jitsu in style with 90kg gold in brown-black division.
The 32-year-old was making her second appearance at the event, six years after winning gold in purple/brown way back in 2012.
Before making the long trip from the US, she already decided that the UAE competition would be last event in her 14-year career and she bowed out on a high. Despite her opponent Poland’s Marta Szarecka being heavier, she won in convincing fashion 8-2.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Galvao. “She was a lot heavier than me and I could only think about myself and executing the moves. I didn’t worry much about her skills and wanted to put my game first. For sure, this is one of my best accomplishments so far as this is my first gold in black in Gi.”
She added: “I’m 32 now so I knew my days in jiu-jitsu were coming to an end so I wanted it to give it a go. I just wanted to do something that I hadn’t done before and happy to have won gold.”
Meanwhile, there was a major upset when brown belt competitor Amal Amjahid overcame black belt’s Amanda Monteiro by submission in the 55kg final.
Belgium’s Amjahid was thrilled with her win and said self-belief was key to her success.
“It is always going to be hard against black belt fighters but I never lost hope,” she said. “I knew if I stuck to my game, I could win and that’s what I did.”
After unsuccessful attempts in 2016 and 2017, Al Ketbi went into the 85kg final hoping to make it third time lucky on his home patch.
Brazil’s Isaque Braz stood in his way at the Mubadala Arena but despite a spirited display in front of a vocal home support, the UAE top-ranked fighter fell short in his quest, losing 2-0.
Al Ketbi did not speak to the media but Braz was thrilled to have won his third gold in the capital after triumphing in blue and brown belts in previous years.
“For me it was a normal victory,” said the 22-year-old. “I didn’t feel any pressure against a home favourite because every day I train and compete with world champions so the fight against Faisal Al Ketbi was just another match for me.
“It was a hard match because he is a great competitor but I’m happy to win gold here.”
There was more UAE disappointment as Talib Saleh lost to Brazilian Thiago Marques in the Black Masters 1.
The South Americans showed their dominance on the mat, winning five of the six men’s matches.
Felipe Pena, who had won four golds in Abu Dhabi, made it five as he came out on top against Poland’s Adam Wardzinski. Pena, winner of the Open category in 2016, used all his experience to claim a convincing 4-0 win in the black 94kg final.
“Winning gold was one of my objectives before I came to Abu Dhabi,” said Pena, who won all his seven matches. “I felt really good coming into the tournament because of the way that I trained at home. This is the World Pro and there are no easy matches in the competition.”
His compatriot Erberth Santos added to Brazil’s tally, needing just 62 seconds to defeat Lucio Rodrigues of Great Britain in the 110kg final.
“I’m very happy to win this title because it’s one of the best in the world,” said Santos, who last year was beaten in the same division last year.
“Winning and losing is part of the game and last year it was hard for me. I put in a lot of hard work in training and I came back hard and won gold.”
Twin Joao and Paulo Miyao gave Brazil even more reason to celebrate by winning the 62kg and 69kg divisions respectively.
The world’s best athletes will descend on the UAE this week as the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship returns for its 10th edition.
Not only can you watch the exciting battles for free, there’s also plenty of activities to keep you and your family busy as well as winning some attractive prizes.
All eyes will be on the Mubadala Arena from Tuesday until Saturday as more than 2,000 will take to the mat over the five days.
Since launching in 2009, the competition has gone from strength to strength, attracting the world’s best to the capital. It will be the same this time round while UAE’s Faisal Al Ketbi will be aiming to claim his first gold in the black belt in this competition.
The Mubadala Arena has already attracted big numbers after hosting the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Festival since last Sunday and with the main event set to begin, UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation chairman Abdeulmonem Al Hashemi believes attending the competition will inspire more people to take up the sport.
“We have a great responsibility in uncovering new talents and supporting thousands of champions. It is crucial to continue opening up new training opportunities and access to international events,” he said. “All of this contributes to the establishment of a world-leading model, and we are proud of this sporting experience that has placed us at the forefront of the global sports scene.”
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, presents our new Champions with their awards.#ADWPJJC18 #ChampionWithin pic.twitter.com/CNze25IEJu— UAEJJF (@uaejjf) April 21, 2018
He added: “Ten years after launching this event, we feel proud of our successes in spreading Jiu-Jitsu throughout the country, as well as the sports regional and global achievements. This sport promotes the values of patience, endurance, discipline and courage. As a result, it plays a major role in building the upcoming generation.”
Throughout the event, there will also be a dedicated children’s area that caters for fans and family. Children can look forward to face-painting, arts and crafts, while there are a range of cultural activities including Arabic calligraphy, falconry and henna drawings.
Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAEJJF, added: “The tenth edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship is one of the largest sports events in the world and has become the most important international event for the UAE and the global Jiu-Jitsu agenda. As such, the Championship has imbued a sense of pride among Emiratis, since it is one of the most significant national products.”
What: Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Where: Mubadala Arena, Abu Dhabi
When: Tuesday April 24 until Saturday, April 28
Contact: For more information, visit www.uaejjf.org