The Brazilian enters the tournament which begins Friday with the children’s event, searching for his fourth consecutive Open title in the black belt.
As the defending three-time champion, he will be the man to beat in the Open category, but his rivals can take encouragement in that Almeida will be tasting his first tournament action for nearly a year.
The 26-year-old suffered a knee injury at the 2015 World Championships in California last May that kept him on the sidelines for months.
Understandably, he’s raring to go, and happy to be back in the UAE capital where he has such happy memories.
“I have done something that
“The championship is going to be different of course. I’m going to do my best but sure everybody else is going to give their best too. So let’s see how it goes. It’s going to be some great fights and a great tournament.”
Although lacking in match sharpness, Almeida insists his impressive record in Abu Dhabi will give him a lot of confidence.
“I feel good. Still I have to go out there and compete to know how good I feel,” he said. “I have nothing to prove here. I have seven world titles.
“Me and Rodolfo Vieira have the most titles here. So I don’t have to prove anything anymore. What I have done here, nobody is going to take it from me.
“I still keep doing this because I love it. And as a result I don’t have pressure because for me it’s fun out there.”
Almeida boasts an impressive CV, claiming a number of golds in World and Pan American Championships. With the sport evolving with new competitors and techniques, the US resident is adamant he still needs to up his game if he wants to add to his medal collection.
“Like every other sport, jiu-jitsu too is changing,” he said. “You need to keep abreast with the changes and adapt to new techniques and styles with the new generation fighters. You can’t stick to the same old methods but adapt to the changes and situations to face any situation out there on the mat.”
Speaking of the Abu Dhabi competition, he added: “There are a lot of guys out there to make a fight out of every contest, particularly those who have moved from brown to black belt this year. They are the new generation of fighters.
“It’s going to be interesting. I have also done my part and ready for the competition. For sure, it’s going to be a great show.”
From the WWE Dune Bash to the Oceanic Triathlon Series, there is an event to suit all interests.
HAMDAN FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Sunday – Saturday, April 10 – 16
Regional U-17 teams including Al Hilal, Hatta and Al Ahli will test themselves against European giants Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in Dubai.
Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are the two standout names appearing at the sixth Hamdan Bin Mohammed International Football Under-17 Championship.
VENUE: Hamdan Sports Complex
ARABIAN GULF LEAGUE
Thursday, April 14 – Saturday, April 16
The UAE’s premier football competition continues with an exciting fixture list, which sees in-form Al Ahli take on Al Ain, and Al Wahda away to Al Dhafra.
WEBSITE: Arabian Gulf League
WWE LIVE DUNE BASH
Thursday, April 14 – Friday, April 15
WWE Live Dune Bash will take place this weekend featuring big names like Dean Ambrose, New Day, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler.
Log on to www.platinumlist.net to purchase your tickets or you can even get them from UAE Exchange branches for Dh350.
In case you need get your blood pumping, here is the clash between John Cena and Kane at Burj Khalifa four years ago.
VENUE: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium
OCEANIC TRIATHLON SERIES
Friday, April 15
Following on from the success of the inaugural Oceanic Triathlon Series in February, the second race will include a new Supersprint Course to accommodate for the next generation of triathletes.
The race will see hundreds of athletes compete as teams of three or individually in a Short Course or Supersprint race.
The Short Course consists of an 800m open water swim, a 30km cycle followed by a 7km run, while the Supersprint includes a 375m swim, 12km cycle and a 2.5km run.
Both routes include swims in the Oceanic Hotel’s natural bay, a cycle through the rolling hills of Khorfakkan before coming to transition in the Oceanic Hotel grounds for the final leg.
VENUE: Oceanic Hotel Resort and Spa, Khorfakka
EFC have over 30 Elite Footballers from the Clubs Development squad and as many travelling supporters to cheers the boys on throughout what has been an experience of a lifetime so far into the tour.
The EFC squads have participated in the Lisbon Youth Cup where they faced local opposition AC Porto Salvo, FC Benfica, CF Trafaria & Seixal FC in a round robin format tournament.
Following a day of competitive games the EFC squads travelled to FC Benfica who are currently top of the Portuguese Premier League for a private coaching session delivered by the Clubs Youth Academy Coaches.
This was a first class experience for players, coaches and parents to get a real insight to how the club develop their players under the philosophy that has nurtured some of Eurpoe’s finest talent..