First Mackenzie Lynn Dern had to get past Gabriella Garcia, which she did as Garcia lost on a penalty on the final day of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, at the IPIC Arena in Zayed Sports City. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National
First Mackenzie Lynn Dern had to get past Gabriella Garcia, which she did as Garcia lost on a penalty on the final day of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, at the IPIC Arena in ZayeShow more

Mackenzie Dern is able to collar jiu-jitsu gold in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI // Mackenzie Dern stunned the jiu-jitsu world by handing Gabrielle Garcia, the nine-time women’s world champion, her first defeat in the black belt category in more than five years.

Dern, 22, ended the burly Brazilian’s unbeaten run in the semi-finals on a penalty point en route to winning the absolute class from Vanessa Nascimento in the seventh Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

The bout between Dern and Garcia resembled a typical David versus Goliath contest on the mat. Garcia stood 1.88m tall and weighed over 90 kilogrammes in stark contrast Dern’s 55kg and 1.57m frame.

“I always believed in my abilities that I could defeat her, not just her but anybody on the right day,” said Dern.

“So when I saw I was leading on a penalty point over Gabby and the crowd getting behind me, I got more motivated.

“I am so happy and excited because this was the first time I won my weight division in five visits to Abu Dhabi, and to win the absolute class was just fantastic.

“In the previous visits, I either got to the finals, semi-final or quarter finals in my weight categories. This was the first time I won my weight division and first time in the absolute class.”


Dern had faced Garcia four times before her meeting last night at the IPIC Arena at Zayed Sports City.

“The last time I met her was in the absolute class final at the Pan American Games,” said Dern, who was runner-up in that competition.

“I try to do something different every time I meet Gabby. This time I used the collar and it helped me a lot, and I tried to tackle her knee bar because when I did that she didn’t attack me.

“That was my strategy against her this time. I attacked on the good times and did everything at the right time.”

Garcia was naturally disappointed but vowed she would return next year to take her title back.

“I was penalised for talking to my coach when I asked him about a point for a takedown that I should have been awarded,” she said after settling for a bronze medal against compatriot Beatrix Mesquita.

“That was not an issue, though, but I still thought I did enough to win more points to win this fight. However, I don’t want to take the sheen off Mackenzie’s win. She’s a skillful little fighter and I am happy for her.”

In the final, Dern had Nascimento well under her control with an early two-point lead and stretched that to 6-0, a margin she preserved until the end for a convincing win.

The Brazilian was a losing finalist for the second time after going down to Garcia in the 75kg-plus weight.

“I never fought Vanessa before but I know she was a tough opponent. I know she has a good guard so I tried to pull first and went for the leg locks,” said Dern.

“She defended well and then I swept her and I was able to catch the back. I tried to get the choke but my hands were so tired. I saw there was only a minute left and I didn’t want to lose my position.”

Dern was introduced to jiu-jitsu at the age of three by her father Wellington “Megaton” Dias – who runs a jiu-jitsu academy in Arizona – and was in competition at six.

She received her black belt at 19. “I grew up watching and learning at my dad’s academy. I presume jiu-jitsu runs in the family,” she said.

Dias said: “She had natural ability and what she has achieved was her own hard work.”

Dern will soon be headed for the Brazilian National Championships from May 1 to 3 and to the World Championships in California from May 27 to 31.

Marcus Almeida retained the men’s open title for a third year in succession with victory over Alexander Trans, which was a repeat of the 95kg-plus final.

The result was closer than their previous meeting on Thursday, with the California-based Brazilian winning by an advantage point to extend his record over the Dane to 7-0.

“It was harder than the first meeting two days ago,” Almeida said. “He adopted a different strategy and I couldn’t work my game plan, so I had to change my strategy during the fight.

“He almost got to his best positions and it was really hard for me from the beginning to the end. Somehow or the other, I drew all my energy to win by an advantage point.

“It was one of the toughest open titles to win.”

Follow us on twitter at @NatSportUAE


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now


Western Region Asia Cup Qualifier, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the next stage of qualifying, in Malaysia in August


UAE beat Iran by 10 wickets

Kuwait beat Saudi Arabia by eight wickets

Oman beat Bahrain by nine wickets

Qatar beat Maldives by 106 runs

Monday fixtures

UAE v Kuwait, Iran v Saudi Arabia, Oman v Qatar, Maldives v Bahrain


Western Clubs Champions League
Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Runners up: Bahrain

Dubai Rugby Sevens
Winners: Dubai Exiles
Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

West Asia Premiership
Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Premiership Cup
Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Runners up: Dubai Exiles

UAE Premiership
Winners: Dubai Exiles
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins


Name: Qureos
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2021
Number of employees: 33
Sector: Software and technology
Funding: $3 million


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Match info

Huddersfield Town 0

Chelsea 3
Kante (34'), Jorginho (45' pen), Pedro (80')

German plea

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the German parliament that. Russia had erected a new wall across Europe.

"It's not a Berlin Wall -- it is a Wall in central Europe between freedom and bondage and this Wall is growing bigger with every bomb" dropped on Ukraine, Zelenskyy told MPs.

Mr Zelenskyy was applauded by MPs in the Bundestag as he addressed Chancellor Olaf Scholz directly.

"Dear Mr Scholz, tear down this Wall," he said, evoking US President Ronald Reagan's 1987 appeal to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

In numbers

- Number of children under five will fall from 681 million in 2017 to 401m in 2100

- Over-80s will rise from 141m in 2017 to 866m in 2100

- Nigeria will become the world’s second most populous country with 791m by 2100, behind India

- China will fall dramatically from a peak of 2.4 billion in 2024 to 732 million by 2100

- an average of 2.1 children per woman is required to sustain population growth

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat


Men's wheelchair 800m T34: 1. Walid Ktila (TUN) 1.44.79; 2. Mohammed Al Hammadi (UAE) 1.45.88; 3. Isaac Towers (GBR) 1.46.46.

Company profile

Name: WonderTree
Started: April 2016
Co-founders: Muhammad Waqas and Muhammad Usman
Based: Karachi, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Delaware, US
Sector: Special education, education technology, assistive technology, augmented reality
Number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Growth
Investors: Grants from the Lego Foundation, UAE's Anjal Z, Unicef, Pakistan's Ignite National Technology Fund

Brief scoreline:

Manchester United 2

Rashford 28', Martial 72'

Watford 1

Doucoure 90'