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Brazil crowned three Abu Dhabi King of Mats this afternoon of Saturday, November 2nd, at the Arena Carioca 1. In three action-packed matches under a special set of rules that turned advantages and penalties into points, the crowd was treated to high-paced action all around.
With impressive performances, Leonardo Saggioro (lightweight), Isaque Bahiense (middleweight) and Jackson Sousa (heavyweight) walked off the main mat as the rulers of their weight classes. Here’s how each match played out in Rio.
Leonardo Saggioro vs. Isaac Doederlein
American Isaac Doederlein hit the mat running and managed a sweep and a near guard pass to build a 4-0 lead early in the match. Saggioro fought back and went on beast mode to sweep and then threat Isaac’s guard and back, almost getting the finish with a choke. With all that effort, Saggioro was able to turn the scoreboard around and build a 7-5 lead that granted him the right to keep the title as lightweight ADKOM champion. “I know I can go head to head against anyone. It depends solely on me. I am happy that I was able to turn the score around,” said Saggioro after the match.
Isaque Bahiense vs. Charles Negromonte
Taking full advantage of the rule set, Isaque Bahiense and Charles Negromonte went head on into the match. Isaque relied on his well known powerful game of takedowns and sweeps joined together with strong guard passes to build a 11-6 lead. Charles fought hard until the very end, but was unable to reverse the score in the end. “I am so happy with the outcome of the match. I was able to put my game to work and score the points I needed to win,” said Isaque after the match.
Jackson Sousa vs. João Gabriel Rocha
Strategy was the name of the game for Jackson Sousa against a much heavier João Gabriel Rocha. The Checkmat black belt worked hard to keep his opponent standing in the beginning of the match. After a few minutes, Jackson took the match to the ground and was successful in his attempt to score against João. A near guard pass and a near back take put Jackson ahead by two points. He was able to sustain that lead up to the end with an overall 8-6 final score. “The strategy worked perfectly. I knew I had to be smart about the weight difference. It’s awesome to win this title here in Rio, so close to my family!” said Jackson after the match.
The Abu Dhabi King of Mats returns in 2020 with new brackets in each weight class that will point the next opponents for our three reigning champions. The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio returns for its final day this Sunday, November 3, with the black belt division. Click here for more info about the ADGS Rio. Follow the complete coverage on Instagram at @ajptour and @jjwplus. Be a part of the show by posting your experiences on social media using the hashtags #abudhabigrandslam and #adgsrio. Watch the matches live at AJPTV.