The first days of the UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship are officially underway, and next week, the main tournament will officially begin. If you’re not already hyped up for this year’s World Pro, here’s why you should be:
Top Talent From All Over The World
The Abu Dhabi World Pro attracts some of the best athletes from all corners of the globe, and 2018’s event will be no different. Australia’s Lachlan Giles (EBI and ADCC veteran) and Livia Gluchowska (former brown belt world champion and 2017 Abu Dhabi World Pro bronze medalist) will be competing, as well as Poland’s Adam Wardzinski (2017 Abu Dhabi World Pro runner-up and ACB JJ veteran). South Korea’s former ADCC Trials winner Noh Young-am will also be there, along with Africa’s top-ranked UAEJJF competitor Ruben Lemos, who comes from Angola. The World Pro is the ideal place to find not only some of the sport’s biggest names, but also lesser-known athletes who are poised to make their big break into jiu-jitsu stardom.
2. The “King Of The Mat” Championship
This year’s World Pro will be featuring the first ever King of the Mat, which is a “best of the best” competition between former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and World Pro champions from the past nine years. Up to thirty competitors who have been hand-selected by the UAEJJF will compete in three categories: lightweight (69 kgs), middleweight (85 kgs), and heavyweight (110 kgs).
Each weight class will have a maximum of ten competitors, which will be split into two groups (A and B) to compete in a round-robin format. Then, the winner of each group will fight the runner-up of the other group to determine who will compete against each other in the final round. The first- and second-place winners for each category will receive cash prizes. The inaugural competition will include Clark Gracie, Tanner Rice, Tiago Bravo, Andre Campos, and many more highly accomplished athletes.
3. Competition At All Levels
The Abu Dhabi World Pro features and celebrates athletes of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. In addition to the main competition, the event also features the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival (April 20-21), in which para athletes, white belts, Master 3 and 4 competitors, and children can compete. April 22 and 23 will see the World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship as well, which will feature some of the sport’s brightest future stars.
4. Thousands Of High-Level Competitors
Over 9,000 athletes will be competing at this year’s event, with about 6,400 participating in the Festival, 1,500 competing in the Youth Championship, and another 1,500 going for gold in the World Pro. These participants have won qualifying events such as National and Continental Pro competitions and have earned their place in one of the most prestigious jiu-jitsu competitions on the planet.
5. A Celebration Of Jiu-Jitsu
For hardcore jiu-jitsu enthusiasts, Abu Dhabi’s love for jiu-jitsu is what we wish we could see around the world. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is the head of the UAEJJF, and as such, the sport receives abundant funding and support in the region. The World Pro attracts not only friends and family members of the competing athletes, but also everyday fans of the sport. The event receives major media coverage and boasts features like a spectacular opening ceremony, prize giveaways, and live shows, making it a must-have bucket list destination for serious BJJ enthusiasts.
Follow the Jiu-Jitsu Times for continued coverage of the 2018 Abu Dhabi World Pro, which will include articles and live interviews!