Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio: day 1 highlights

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Thiago Silva getting one of his finishes at purple. Ane Nunes/Gentle Art Media

This Friday, Arena Carioca 1, one of the venues built for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, welcomed a sizable crowd for the first day of the third stage of the 2017/2018 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour. Day 1 featured white and purple belt contests among adults and masters.

Plenty of drama played out over seven hours on the nine mats set up, until every champion had been crowned. One division stood out, though. In the purple-belt, master-1, 77kg tourney, disabled athlete Thiago Silva took gold by winning three matches. Fighting able-bodied opponents, he embodied the power of jiu-jitsu.

These are the female and male purple-belt champions:

Men

56kg – Thalison Vitorino (PSLPB Cicero Costha)
62kg – Lucas Emanuel (Equipe Cassão)
69kg – Daniel Junior (Soul Fighters)
77kg – Dionatan Santos (Alliance Mario Reis)
85 kg – Alex Munis (Clube Feijão)
94kg – Anderson Munis (Clube Feijão)
110kg – Pedro Pimenta (GF Team)

Women

49kg – Jessica Dantas (Caio Terra)
55kg – Andreza Sousa (Ares BJJ)
62kg – Janaina Menezes (SAS Team)
70kg – Melissa Cueto (Broca BJJ)
90kg – Raiane Santos (GB)

The teams’ race stands like this at the end of the first day:

1st – GF Team (6,748 pts)
2nd – Gracie Barra (2,476pts)
3rd – Nova União (1,984pts).

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio returns this Saturday for day 2. The black-belts will step on the mats today, so check back for our coverage.

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