APRIL 03, 2021, ABU DHABI – UAE. Today marked the return of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam (ADGS) Tour, an event organized by the AJP. The tournament was the last contest before the Word Pro – also to be held in Abu Dhabi. Given how close the ADGS was to the biggest event on the league, many of the top grapplers in the federation’s circuit opted to travel early to the Middle East and compete at the Grand Slam, as a warm-up to the big clashes ahead – and with a good money incentive.
DREAM ART RUNS THROUGH FEMALE DIVISION
The fantastic work-group that is the Dream Art team has been growing in numbers and keeps raising the bar with every tournament past. Already a force in the male division, DA is now dominant also in the female category, holding title challengers in all weight classes. Truly impressive.
The first champion of this professional squad was Brenda Larissa (49-kg). Originally a student of Melqui Galvão at Dream Art Manaus, Larissa has been stationed in São Paulo, where she has established herself as one of the top rooster weights in the nation. Brenda’s success today was followed by Anna Rodrigues‘.
Rodrigues faced her foe in the final of the 55-kilogram division, Amanda Monteiro-Canuto – the last person to defeat Anna in competition. Anna’s clashes with Amanda have always been incredibly close, but this time around, the talented young athlete took a perfectly timed armbar from closed guard out of her hat for the quick finish in regulation.
The armbar finish used by Anna was likely a consequence of her regular training she’s had with Bia Mesquita, the Armbar Queen in this sport. Beatriz submitted all her opponents (3) with relative ease and although she still represents Gracie Humaitá on paper, one could include her on the Dream Arts club, given that she trains with the team.
Last, but not least, was Yara Soares‘ performance in the 95-kg category. This was Yara’s first gold medal with the Dream Art crew, as she was originally a member of the Guigo J workgroup. The only medal on offer, not conquered by a female DA member was in the 70KG weight class, which was conquered by Julia Bosher, competing for GF Team.
ROOSEVELT SOUSA SHOCKS THE WORLD
The male divisions were stacked with talent throughout, but one of the most competitive weight classes turned out to be ultra-heavyweights (120-kg), which saw the super-talents, Anderson and Erich Munis (Dream Art), GFT power-house Wallace Costa, Guilherme Augusto (Alliance), and Roosevelt Sousa – formerly with Fight Sports – currently residing in the UAE and training at Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club.
Roosevelt was not one of the favorites coming into the tournament. Being a UAE resident whose only black belt experience has come from the local circuit has kept the Paraíba native away from the spotlight. This fact did not detour Sousa from his objective.
Working from his guard, Roosevelt ran through one of the division’s favorites – the aforementioned Wallace Costa – in the first round, placing 10 unanswered points on the scoreboard. Next, he went up against the always tough Max Mendes whom he beat also on points, but the best of Sousa’s performance was left for last. In the final, Roosevelt faced none other than Anderson Munis, one of jiu-jitsu’s rising stars and one of most talked-about athletes in the sport. The match lasted under 1 minute, a quick straight ankle-lock submission for the Baniyas athlete sealed the deal and a gold medal.
BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: LUIZ PAULO
When looking at the 77-kilogram division, many would have overlooked Melqui Galvão‘s black belt, Luiz Paulo. The Manaus native has been a black belt for only 5 months and was yet to have a breakthrough moment at the highest level. That day came today.
An impressive performance by Paulo who had 4 tough matches against big names such as Adriano Araújo, Tiago Bravo, and Espen Mathiesen. 4 wins, 2 submissions, and a very eye-pleasing performance across the board.
MALE / BLACK BELT / 56KG
1- Jonas Andrade (PSLPB)
2- Johnif Rocha (PSLPB)
3- Marko Oikarainen (Hilti)
FEMALE / BLACK BELT / 49KG
1- Brenda Larissa (Alliance SP / Dream Art – Manaus)
2- Eliana Carauni (Positive JJ)
3- Vanderlucia Barbosa (Al Jazira JJC)
FEMALE / BLACK BELT / 62KG
1- Beatriz Mesquita (G. Humaitá / Dream Art – SP)
2- Andreia Cavalcante (ZR Team)
3- Larissa Paes (Palm Sports)
FEMALE / BLACK BELT / 70KG
1- Julia Boscher (GFT)
2- Rafaela Silva (Palm Sports)
3- Buyandelger Battsogt (Garuda JJ)
FEMALE / BLACK BELT / 95KG
1- Yara Soares (Dream Art – SP)
2- Michele Xavier (Al Ain JJC)
3- Thaynara Dias (Al Ain JJC)