Beatriz Mesquita celebrates seventh gold at Abu Dhabi World Pro

Brazilians maintain their dominance by winning 11 titles in the black belt division of the Jiu-Jitsu showpiece

Brazil dominated the black belt division by winning 11 of the 12 gold medals on offer on the final day of the 13th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

The highlight was the win by Beatriz Mesquita, her seventh gold in 12 appearances in the event, popularly known as the World Pro.

Competing across three days and seven opponents, the Brazilian took less than a minute to take the 62-kilogram final from Italian Margot Ciccarelli with an arm-bar at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena on Friday.

“I am very happy to win my seventh title here, I am glad the competitions are back after the Coronavirus pandemic and for sure I’ll be back for my title defence next year,” Mesquita told The National.

“It is always tough at this level. I have been competing in the World Pro since the second edition in 2010.

"The competition gets harder every year as all the best athletes on earth wanting to compete. I’m really amazed to see and experience the all-round progress of this incredible event every passing year.”

Mesquita, 30, has been in martial arts for 25 years and won the Brazil national championship at the age of 10 and has claimed multiple world titles since 2012.

“I want to be around for another 10 years. If not 10 years, at least for the next six years, provided I stay healthy. I haven’t thought of doing anything else but focus on my Jiu-Jitsu," she added.

“Occasionally I go and help in coaching but I like to stay as an athlete, travelling and competing in as many competitions as possible around the world. So it’s always work, work and work in the gym for me.”

The Brazilian made it a clean sweep of the five golds that were up for grabs for the females.

Brenda Larissa and Gabrieli Pessanha retained their hold in the 49kg and 95kg titles for a fourth and third year respectively, while Anna Rodrigues and Ingrid Sousa bagged the remaining two golds.

Argentina's Pablo Lavaselli denied Brazil a clean sweep of the seven golds in the men’s division when he overcame Brazilian Israel Almeida by points 2-0 to clinch the 69kg final.

“This was quite a challenge to lose weight having fought at 77kg previously,” Lavaselli said.

“I have a good team behind me, and we got it done. All the hard work and sacrifice has paid off. It’s a great experience, I want to come back and keep competing.”

Nathannael Fernandes made a wining start in the black belt division by claiming the 56kg title with victory over Francisco Andrade in an all-Brazil final.

“It’s only been two weeks since I got my black belt, so this is a dream for me,” Fernandes said.

“Just being in the final was an achievement, but to beat the No 1 player in the division is something else. It’s always great to come here, I won blue belt gold in 2019, but I will never forget this Abu Dhabi World Pro experience.”

Diego Raes (62kg), Micael Galvao (77kg), Isaque Braz (85kg), Erich Munis (94kg) and Gutemberg Pereira (120kg) completed the Brazilian dominance.

Updated: November 20th 2021, 6:36 AM