The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, which took place last weekend in Los Angeles, had six-time world champion Xande Ribeiro as its big star. Just one week after winning the absolute at the World Master Championship beside his pupil Rafael Lovato, the black-belt under Royler Gracie again put on a great show. In the final of the 94kg category, Xande fought an exciting bout opposite Arnaldo Maidana and won 8-0, with two guard passes and one sweep.
To get to the decider, Xande beat Erberth Santos via decision in a semifinal, after a 2-2 draw on advantages. On the other bracket, Maidana beat Ricardo Evangelista also by decision, after a 2-2 tie on points. Bronze went to Evangelista.
Under 62kg, Mikey Musumeci and João Miyao again met in a final. Musumeci managed to sweep and thwart an attempt at a choke from the back to secure gold. Bronze went to Tiago Barros.
The 69kg final pitted Paulo Miyao against Isaac Doerderlein. Miyao was able to sweep right at the start and held onto the lead until the end. Third place went to Brian Macheha.
Edwin Najmi outshone everybody under 77kg. A world championship runner-up, he finished Vitor Oliveira in a semifinal with a D’arce choke. On the other bracket, Victor Silvério scored 4-0 over Bruno Alvez. The final was won by the Romulo Barral pupil after Silvério got injured — his shoulder was hurt during a takedown, and he had to withdraw.
Favored to win under 85kg, three-time world champion Otavio Sousa wound up defeated by Gabriel Arges. Otavio subbed two opponents (Stephen Hargett and Sergio da Silva) on his way to the final, while Arges was beating Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa 4-2. In the final, Arges succeeded in sweeping Otavio and leave the score at 2-0 till the end.
Under 110kg, it was Luiz Panza who reached the top of the podium. The Checkmat fighter finished Mahamed Aly via leg lock in a semifinal and, in the final, he beat José Junior via foot lock.
Nathiely de Jesus subs three
There were four weight classes in the women’s portion of the event. Under 55kg, Talita Alencar won it all with a 7-0 score over Patricia Fontes. Under 62kg, favorite Tammi Musumeci was swept and ended up defeated by Maxine Thylin 2-0. Luiza Monteiro was the under-70kg champion. After beating Catherine Perret 4-0 in a semifinal, she beat Jessica Trindade 4-2.
But it was Nathiely de Jesus who stood out. She fought three times and got three submission wins, including a perfect leg lock versus Tara Branca in the final.
Romulo Barral a master among masters
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam also featured a masters’ age group. Four-time world champion Romulo Barral won the under-94kg. The other champions were Laércio Fernandes (62kg), Osvaldo Moizinho (69kg), Marcelo Mafra (77kg), Eduardo Santoro (85kg) and Thiago Souza (110kg).