NOVEMBER 19, 2022, ABU DHABI’S JIU-JITSU ARENA. Exactly one year since the last edition of the Abu Dhabi World Pro, the big event of the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP) federation returned with a sensational production – as per usual – and an amazing lineup of some of the top gi jiu-jitsu talent on the globe.
The 2022 AJP World Pro Championship – removing the country qualifiers of last Thursday – had an overall match count of 164 clashes, out of which we saw 46 submissions. Making a total of 28% in the submission ratio. Below is the BJJ Heroes report on the action at the adult black belt level of this event.
2022 ABU DHABI WORLD PRO CHAMPIONS (PRO)
56KG: Zayed Alkatheeri (Banyias JJC)
62KG: Meyram Maquiné (Drem Art)
69KG: Diego Sodré (Clube Feijão)
77KG: Lucas Protasio (Checkmat)
85KG: Fellipe Andrew (Alliance SD)
94KG: Catriel Oliveira (GFT)
120KG: Yatan Bueno (Dream Art)
49KG: Brenda Larissa (Melqui Galvão)
55KG: Anna Rodrigues (Dream Art)
62KG: Julia Alves (GFT)
70KG: Izadora Cristina (Dream Art)
95KG: Gabrieli Pessanha (InFight)
The only non-Brazilian gold medalist this year was wiz-kid Zayed Alkatheeri, without a doubt one of the most talented grapplers ever produced by UAE’s tournament circuit.
Ever since he reached the black belt level in May this year, Alkatheeri has been proving to the world that he was capable of going head-to-head against the best of the best. That is exactly what happened this weekend in Abu Dhabi, where the UAE talent conquered three wins, two in dominant fashion, and a close final against Melqui Galvão’s, Nathannael Fernandes (2021 gold medal). A match that was spent mostly with the Brazilian stuck inside Zayed’s closed guard.
Quickly but surely, Zayed Alkatheeri is climbing the ladder of the roosterweight division. We would love to see this young prodigy against some of the bigger names of the division such as Thalison Soares or Cleber Sousa.
– Welerson Goncalves def. Yuri Hendrex via 8×4
4 matches and 3 submissions for the dynamic Meyram Maquiné of Dream Art who only had one real challenge to his dominance in the division. That tough match came from USA’s Sebastian Serpa in the very first round of the tournament, in which Maquiné won 3×1.
– Omar Alfadhli def. Wanki Chae via 9×6
– Meyram Maquine def. Jonas Andrade via Triangle armlock
– Meyram Maquine def. Omar Alfadhli via Choke from the back
– Jonas Andrade def. Sebastian Serpa via 2×1
Diego Sodré and Pablo Lavaselli dominated most in their respective brackets with relative ease, proving there is somewhat of a gap between these two and the rest of the 69-kg contenders. In Lavaselli’s side, the toughest clash came to his friend and former teammate, Matias Estevez, while Sodré’s came from fellow Manauara, Thiago Macedo.
Despite the significant points difference in the final result, the match between Pablo and Diego was a lot closer than the score would have you believe. A tough fought fight.
– Pablo Lavaselli def. Matias Estevez via 2×0
– Diego Sodre def. Kalel Santos via Triangle armlock
– Matias Estevez def. Viki Dabush via Submission
One of the most balanced weight classes in the tournament saw a range of very fun matches for the fans, many of which were provided by the two finalists.
The final was very even, with Sweden’s Lindblad playing from the bottom, trying to anchor Protasio to the mat, and fellow Checkmat representative Lucas playing a more dynamic game from the top position. With all tied 0x0 by regulation time, a golden score round was added to decide the victor, which came via a double-leg takedown by the Brazilian.
– Max Lindblad def. Marinaldo Morais via 3×1
– Lucas Protasio def. Andre Cantanhede via 4×2
– Lucas Protasio def. Max Lindblad via 1×0
– Andre Cantanhede def. Marinaldo Morais via Kneebar
Three Brazilians dominated this weight class, namely Fellipe Andrew, Isaque Bahiense, and Uanderson Ferreira. This was also a very fun division to follow, particularly given how dynamic this trio was on the mats this weekend.
Equally fun to follow were athletes like Canada’s Shane Fishman, Portugal’s Pedro Cadete, BRA/AUS William Dias, and Uruguay’s Fausto Godoy. All rewarded the fans with fun matches to follow.
– Fellipe Andrew def. Fausto Godoy via 7×1
Portugal’s Bruno Lima of the Alexandre Machado Academy (AMA) has been on a tear this year and is proving to be very worthy of these big platforms over the past 11 months. After 1 gold medal at the 2022 IBJJF European Open, a 2nd place at the ADCC EU Qualifiers, and a 3rd place at the IBJJF World Championships, Lima earned silver in Abu Dhabi.
Just as impressive was Catriel Oliveira, a GFT team member, currently living in the UAE. Oliveira competes almost exclusively under the AJP ruleset, and his experience competing in these shorter rounds of the federation certainly transpired throughout the tournament. A very veteran-like performance for the young black belt whom we would love to see compete in an IBJJF setting, against bigger names, at some point in his career.
– Bruno Lima def. Javier Barter via 11×2
– Catriel Oliveira advanced to the final due to Erich Munis injury in the quarter-finals
– Vinicius Liberati def. Antonio Caiate via 8×0
The “Nut Cracker” choke specialist, Yatan Bueno returned to AJP for another strong performance. Bueno was never in any real danger throughout the event, showing he was a league above what was on offer at the World Pro. A flawless performance by Bueno.
– Yatan Bueno def. Anton Seleznev via 7×0
– Justin Primrose def. Euclides Castro via 4×1
– Yatan Bueno def. Justin Primrose via 9×0
– Euclides Castro def. Anton Seleznev via 3×2
There was no doubt Melqui Galvão’s Brenda Larissa was at the forefront of the division, with her biggest rivals Duda Tozoni and Jessica Caroline out of the picture after their poor performances in the Qualifiers. What many would not have expected is Margarita Ochoa’s spectacular start in the final. Ochoa opened up with a beautiful wrestle-up sweep against Larissa, scoring two points and putting a lot of pressure on the Manaus athlete. Brenda kept her composure and slowly but surely climbed her way back to the top, ending the match with a comfortable margin.
– Brenda Larissa def. Diana Teixeira via 2×0
– Margarita Ochoa def. Sabrina Migliozzi via 13×2
– Brenda Larissa def. Margarita Ochoa via 5×2
– Eliana Carauni def. Diana Teixeira via 2×0
A very fun performance by Netherlands athlete Rose El Sharouni throughout the tournament, up until she met Dream Art’s Anna Rodrigues in the final. Anna came in ready and dominated Rose, ending their match with a submission from the back.
Overall, champion Rodrigues appeared in great form for this event, showing more aggression than she’s accustomed us to in the past, pushing for submissions in her 3 matches.
– Rose Sharouni def. Liisi Vaht via 1×0
– Anna Rodrigues def. Ariadne Oliveira via 8×0
– Anna Rodrigues def. Rose Sharouni via Choke from the back
– Ariadne Oliveira def. Astrid Scholin via 2×1
Despite the very strong performance by Bruno Bastos’ Emily Fernandez, Julia Alves did appear to be unstoppable in Abu Dhabi this weekend. A very dynamic player, Brazil’s Alves was aggressive from all angles. Her guard was submission oriented, her passing was fast and the pace she put on her opponents turned out to be her biggest strength.
– Julia Alves def. Maja Povsnar via decision
– Emily Fernandez def. Eliamar Guimaraes via Submission
– Julia Alves def. Emily Fernandez via 4×0
– Brigida Felipe def. Maja Povsnar via DQ
Another strong showing for Cristina of Dream Art.
– Denise Krahn def. Nikki Griffiths via Submission
– Izadora Cristina def. Magdalena Loska via 10×1
– Izadora Cristina def. Denise Krahn via 7×1
– Ingridd Alves def. Magdalena Loska via DQ
Brown belt Giovanna Jara keeps showing how close she is to beating the greatest female athlete of the modern era, Gabrieli Pessanha. Another close call for Jara who lost due to Pessanha’s late scoring. Under the AJP ruleset, whoever scores last wins the match in case of a tie.
– Yasmira Dias def. Silvia Scomparin via 14×0