The 12th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) successfully wrapped on Friday night, with Brazilian fighters once again showing why they remain some of the finest on the planet.
Brown- and black-belt professionals from around the world took to the mats at Jiu-Jitsu Arena in the UAE capital, with men and women from the South American nation topping the country rankings with a total of 35 medals, including 16 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze.
Household names such as Beatriz Mesquita, Bianca Basilio, Israel Almeida, Isaque Braz and Gabrieli Pessanha were among those to shine for Brazil.
Mesquita put in a top performance to capture her sixth adult title, taking less than a minute to win with an armbar on opponent Lari Paes.
“Today’s victory is one of the most important achievements in my career as I’ve been training and competing for this moment. My training during the pandemic didn’t stop, and that was the main reason why I’ve captured the win again this year,” said Mesquita.
“Competing in a global championship against the best in the world in such unprecedented circumstances in a safe environment is a true privilege. I’d like to thank the ADPWJJC organizers for hosting such a successful international championship in these challenging times.”
Compatriot Diego Batista topped the ADWPJJC podium again with gold in the 62 kg black-belt division thanks to a 4-3 victory over Hiago George.
Batista, who won gold in the brown-belt 69 kg division at the 11th ADWPJJC, said: “Capturing the gold in my black-belt debut at the ADWJJC feels special. Great work by the ADWPJJC organizing committee to give jiu-jitsu athletes the opportunity to compete and practice the sport we love safely.”
The “Queen of the Mats” Passenha beat Yara Soares in a thrilling encounter to win gold again in the women’s 95 kg brown-black-belt division.
But Brazilian athletes did not have it all their own way as Adam Wardzinksi from Poland claimed his first gold, beating Brazil’s Renato Cardoso 6-4 in the 94 kg black-belt division.
“It feels great to get my first gold after two consecutive years of winning silver at the ADWPJJC. This is one of my all-time dreams coming true, and I can’t wait to come back and defend my belt in the 13th edition,” said Wardzinksi.
“I knew my opponent very well as we squared off many times in the past. I knew he’d be tough and we both had our strategic approach, and I managed to get the win at the end,” he added.
“For us athletes who live for this sport, the 12th edition of the championship offers us hope in the continuation of the championship in these challenging times.”
The 13th ADWPJJC will take place in Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena in November 2021.