Jasem Al Hosani made history by becoming the first Emirati to win gold in the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Youth Championships.
A member of the UAE national jiu-jitsu team’s age group squad, Al Hosani brought eight years of experience of that discipline to win the 77kg final against American Joseph Bowers on day two of the competition at the Zayed Sports City’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The Emirati dedicated his gold medal to President Sheikh Mohamed for supporting jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts.
“Whatever I achieved today is because of the generous support I have received from His Highness and our federation and this being the first ever won by an Emirati in the IMMAF championships is very special to my country and me,” Al Hosani said.
Al Hosani, a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, won his first three fights by submission before defeating Bowers via referee’s decision in the final.
“All fights were tough. My jiu-jitsu skills and the experience in martial arts came in very handy. I will continue training jiu-jitsu and MMA, and compete in both combat sports.”
Ibrahim Al Hosani, a former member of the UAE national jiu-jitsu team and now one of the national team coaches, and Jasem’s jiu-jitsu coach at Sharjah Self Defence Club, lauded the youngster for his dedication.
“What he has achieved today is huge for the UAE,” Ibrahim said. “He’s made history by becoming the first Emirati to win gold at the Youth Worlds.
“Jasem is hardworking, dedicated and committed to his work and the result is there to be seen.
“I would like to think this is only the beginning and there will be many more to come in the next two days of this championships.”
Abdulla Al Darmaki took silver in the 40kg division for 14-15 age group. Another jiu-jitsu athlete, he won his first three fights by submission before losing the final to Farhodi Davlatali of Tajikistan.
Zayed Al Hammadi and Zayed Al Dhabari won a bronze each for the UAE on the opening day on Monday.
Maryam Alaleeli lost both her fights but has the distinction of being the first Emirati female to compete in the World Youth Championships.