UFC stars Aljamain Sterling and Chase Hooper to headline Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship

Mubadala Arena to host second edition of popular event as fighters from various disciplines do battle in the capital

Aljamain Sterling, left, and Chase Hooper during the launch of the second edition of Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National
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A jiu-jitsu No Gi clash between UFC’s Aljamain Sterling and Chase Hooper will headline the second Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship (ADXC) at the Mubadala Arena, Zayed Sports City, on Friday.

ADXC held its inaugural show in October last year and based on that success, the second edition looks set to dazzle fans once again.

“I am super excited for Friday night. Chase Hooper is a tough fighter, a high-level guy. Also, he is a blackbelt. I am going to prove myself and end the fight with a submission,” Sterling said at the launch ceremony on Wednesday.

Sterling, 34, a prominent UFC bantamweight, has an impressive grappling record and will be taking on Hooper, who is 10 years his junior and known for his outstanding jiu-jitsu skills.

Hooper didn’t hide his excitement for the fight.

“I am from a small town and a small gym but I am here in Abu Dhabi now. I have been training since I was a kid. I am excited to be doing the sport I love, jiu-jitsu. I can’t be more excited for Friday night,” he said.

ADXC is a newcomer to the world of combat sports. It brings together renowned martial art fighters in a variety of disciplines such as MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, and grappling.

In the co-main event, the current Abu Dhabi World Pro champion Bruno Lima of Portugal faces off against his 2020 European Open final nemesis, Manuel Ribamar of Brazil.

“I am here to show that my place is here,” Lima said. “I may not be the most famous guy, but in the end, my jiu-jitsu always proves itself, and I can’t wait to prove it once again.”

Ribamar shared his enthusiasm, saying, “I am very happy to have been chosen to participate in this edition of the tournament, I am also pleased that the next event will be held in my country, Brazil, which will give the Brazilian players a chance to showcase their skills and open new horizons. I believe they will be excited to participate.

“I am fully prepared, despite this being my first time fighting inside the cage. But jiu-jitsu skills remain the most important factor, and I look forward to showcasing my special style.”

Mohammed Jassim Al Hosani, member of the organising committee and the official matchmaker for ADXC, said plans are in place to expand the tournament’s reach with the launch of the third edition in Brazil on March 2.

“As the global capital of jiu-jitsu and grappling, Abu Dhabi is dedicated to providing unparalleled support for this sport and organising exceptional events that embody the spirit of sportsmanship and mutual respect,” he said.

Updated: January 17, 2024, 4:07 PM