Yesterday, 18th of January, 2020, the Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi hosted one of the biggest events of the year, the UAEJJF Grand Slam — now part of the AJP Tour. The tournament gathered some of the best black belts on the international circuit as well as plenty of talent in the colored belt divisions.
The tournament did not have too many upsets as most of the top seeds did made the podium. One exception would be the young black belt from Guigo Jiu-Jitsu — Yara Soares. Yara had one heck of a challenge ahead of her, with both the current IBJJF gi world champion (weight and absolute), Nathiely de Jesus and the current IBJJF world no-gi champion (weight and absolute) Kendall Reusing. Soares went past both these athletes, showing fantastic composure for someone who’s been a black belt for little over 1 month. Yara ended up being stopped in the final by the formidable Gabrieli Pessanha by 10×7. A sign that the new generation means business.
Other signs that the female division is on the rise were the performances of both Alliance São Paulo competitors, Anna Rodrigues (Dream Art Project) and Brenda Larissa. Both athletes looked fantastic on the mats, with Anna taking gold and Larissa going to war against Mayssa Bastos, losing the current world champ in the final by 2 points. Quite the black belt debut.
In the Male divisions, it was the Europeans who added the most flair to the tournament. We are referencing Poland’s Adam Wardzinski and Norway’s Tommy Langaker, two black belts who looked unstoppable and untamable. Adam pilled on points on his opponents with decisive wins while Langaker pressed on the pedal, as he’s done throughout his career, in the hunt for the submission. Perfect performances by both players.
ABOUT THE RULES CHANGES
This was the first major event of the 2020 AJP Tour to put in use the new ruleset, and we must say, for the most part, this was an undeniable success. The referees pushed the action consistently and fairly, while the absence of advantages and penalties made the matches easier to follow and more exciting. Hardly any stalling and plenty of action were on full display at the Mubadala Arena. An all-round success from our perspective.
Below are the results for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
– Kalel Santos def. Masaaki Todokoro by 3×1
– Masaaki Todokoro def. Wellington Da Silva by 3×1
– Kalel Santos def. Wellington Da Silva by 4×1
1st Place Kalel Santos
– Larissa Paes def. Hope Douglass by 3×1
– Martinia Gramenius def. Silvia Silva by submission
– Thamara Ferreira def. Rafaela Bertolot by 2×0
– Thamara Ferreira def. Martinia Gramenius by decision (3×3)