Abu Dhabi, UAE – 20 April 2014: Five days of thrilling action with more than 17,000 attendees has seen Abu Dhabi confirm its status as the Jiu-Jitsu capital of the world, following a sensational sixth edition of a continually growing competition. Held under the Patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, at First Gulf Bank (FGB) Arena, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2014 proved a categorical success with packed grandstands, podiums and some of the finest examples of on-mat competition seen anywhere in the world.
Thousands of the best fighters from 71 countries, and huge numbers of fans from home and abroad heaped praise on the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation for organising a spectacular showpiece event.
Celebrating its sixth edition under the theme ‘One World One Fight’, the Championship provided the region and the world with an extraordinary show of talent, skill and physical excellence. With more competitors, more categories and a larger prize fund than ever before at AED1.61 million, the tournament was a gathering of the finest Jiu-Jitsu fighters on the planet going all out to claim what has undoubtedly become one of the most important titles in the sport.
The tournament also marked an important milestone for UAE Jiu-Jitsu, with Emirati fighters responding to the proud occasion by winning 26 medals in total, eight gold, nine silver and nine bronze across a number classes; a best ever achievement against such a competitive field that has now pointed the way to future national glories on the international stage.
UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation Chairman and President of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Abdulmunem Al Hashemi summed up the organization’s satisfaction with the event: “The world’s greatest fighters have come to Abu Dhabi and enjoyed an outstanding spectacle, showcasing the very best of Abu Dhabi. A new standard has been set for future years and more people than ever before have taken part both on and off the mat. The feedback from everyone involved whether fighters, spectators or our generous sponsors have honoured the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation. We are extremely proud of the efforts of all our Emirati fighters especially those that won medals but as hosts we’re equally as proud of the admiration and respect gained from the international Jiu-Jitsu community. The event continues to grow, and we thank everybody for their support over the past five days.”
This year’s event also saw the exciting return of the World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup, providing a platform for the competitors of tomorrow and outreach to local schools by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and their mascot, Azzam the falcon bringing children into contact with the sport for the first time. Visitor numbers also broke records with huge crowds taking advantage of the free admission to have a great family day out.
Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice-Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation commented, “The Children’s Cup nurtures future stars in the sport by providing a crucial testing point in their on-going development. We are delighted that so many of these budding stars rose to the challenge, in particular our home grown talent who brought home many medals this year. This year saw an increase in the amount of talent with more than 1,200 young Jiu–Jitsu fighters descending on Abu Dhabi for two days of competition; including over 600 elite young competitors from the UAE and 50 international youth fighters from as far afield as the USA, UK, Brazil, Australia, Portugal, Canada and Japan. No other country in the world is doing more to foster grass roots talent and give once in a lifetime opportunities to young hopefuls.”
Also speaking on the success of the tournament His Excellency Khadem Abdula Al Qubaisi, Managing Director of IPIC, the Official Sponsor of the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation said, “I would like to thank His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his support of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship that has made Abu Dhabi the global capital of Jiu-Jitsu.
“It has been a great honour for IPIC to have been involved in this prestigious championship that has set new heights for this venerable sport. IPIC remains committed to supporting Jiu-Jitsu and empowering young Emiratis to compete at the local and international level, to make this country proud.”
UFC superstar and fan favourite Urijah Faber, one of Jiu-Jitsu’s finest exponents, was a special guest at the five day event. Urijah Faber commented, “It’s been a real thrill for me to see some of the best pure Jiu-Jitsu fighters in the world in action over the past few days. The event was perfectly organized and there’s no doubt in my mind that Abu Dhabi will continue to be one of the world’s most important centres for the sport. I can honestly say this is the best Jiu-Jitsu tournament I have ever seen. Mabrouk Abu Dhabi!”
Over the championship Brazilian fighters dominated the black belt classes, the elite strata of the sport, with Marcus Almeida and Gabrielle Garcia taking the titles in the male and female competitions respectively.
Journalists from around the globe, including: Brazil, Korea, Japan, Angola, UK, USA, Lebanon also attended the event, which has made headlines in the martial arts press all over the world. The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation as well as the entire city of Abu Dhabi can look back at the last few days with considerable satisfaction, and plan the 7th Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship with the confidence inspired by the world’s approval.