The UAE's Zayed Al Katheeri and Khaled Al Shehi both had to settle for silver as the Brazilians once again dominated the black belt division during the 15th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the Mubadala Arena on Friday.
Al Katheeri, the defending championin the 56kg division, went down narrowly to Yuri Hendrex by points 3-1, and Al Shehi was edged out by Meyram Alves, also of Brazil, by points 1-0 in the 62kg category.
“I am very pleased with this achievement,” Al Katheeri said. “While my goal was to defend the title as the champion of this category, sport has winning and losing.
“I am content with the performance I delivered against one of the most formidable opponents in the sport.”
Al Shehi, gold medallist at the Asian Games, added: “I am happy with this wonderful experience, as it is the first time I had qualified for the final of the black belt, and I feel proud to have stood at the podium with the UAE flag.
“There is no doubt that it is a historic moment, and I will start preparing from now for the next edition of the tournament, drawing lessons from this competition.”
Brazilians won 10 of the 12 finals while Portuguese Pedro Ramalho and Bruno Lima took the two remaining golds in the men’s 77kg and 85kg category, respectively.
Earlier in the competition, the UAE won two golds, four silver and two bronze with Omar Ali Al Suwaidi and Asma Al Hosani succeeding in the men’s brown belt 56kg and women’s purple belt 55kg respectively.
It was a remarkable year for the UAE. They topped the medals table in the JJIF (Jiu-Jitsu International Federation) World and Youth World Championships, Asian Championship and the Asian Games medals in jiu-jitsu.
Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, emphasised Abu Dhabi, known as the world jiu-jitsu capital, has created a story of success that has captured global attention.
“The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship contributes to solidifying the Emirate’s position as a top global destination for hosting international events,” he said.
“This time, we commemorate yet another milestone for our UAE champions, further elevating their outstanding track record of accomplishments on both continental and international platforms.”
Men's Black Belt: 56kg – Yuri Hendrex (BRA) defeated Zayed Al Katheeri (UAE) by points 3-1; 62kg - Meyram Alves (BRA) def Khaled Al Shehi (UAE) by points 1-0; 69kg – Raimundo Sodre (BRA) def Sebastian Serpa (USA) by points 3-0; 7kg – Pedro Ramalho (POR) def Lucas Protasio (BRA) by submission 1min 13sec; 85kg – Bruno Lima (POR) def Uanderson Ferreira (BRA) by points 8-3; 94kg - Fellipe Silva (BRA) def Renan Cruz (USA) by submission 4:53; 120kg - Felipe Bezerra (BRA) def Anton Seleznev (RUS) by points 5-1
Women's Brown/Black Belt: 49kg – Mayssa Bastos (BRA) def Margarita Ochoa (PHI) by submission 4:36; 55kg - Anna Rodrigues (BRA) def Alexa Yanes (USA) by points 5-0; 62kg - Julia Alves (BRA) def Violeta Angelova (BGR) by submission 30sec; 70kg - Ingridd Alves (BRA) def Nia Blackman (GBR) by points 2-1; 95kg - Gabrieli Pessanha (BRA) def Yara Nascimento (BRA) by submission 1:59