Fernando Paradeda is working hard ate organizing the South American Qualifiers for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup on this weekend of the 13th and 14th, in Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, and on the 27th and 28th in Rio de Janeiro, for which registration is now open. The organizer is excited about the events, to be broadcast live over the internet for the world to see. Check out the chat with the event’s organizer, who discusses what’s to come:
What has changed in relation to how things went last year?
I think first of all the credibility, from sponsors, athletes and the Abu Dhabi organization itself. Last year our tryouts were considered the best and it was really great for all the athletes. We brought all the media to a Jiu-Jitsu event and managed to gather a lot of top athletes, some who were focusing on MMA, but who were doing so because of the payoff. This lent credibility to other events to do something through sponsors and is an opportunity for high-level fighters to make a living through Jiu-Jitsu. The result of this credibility is now that there are two qualifiers in Brazil and it gives a greater number of athletes a chance at winning.
From a global perspective, what are the plans for the event?
Last year there were six qualifiers throughout the world. This year there were 11 and, besides places where Jiu-Jitsu is going strong, we managed to put the competition in other places where it is still in its infancy, such as New Zealand and South Africa. This, besides making Jiu-Jitsu grow, gives a chance to fighters of other nationalities, since our intention is to hold events with fighters from all over the world. We want a Brazilian fighting a Frenchman, against an African … Our project is to make a truly global professional Jiu-Jitsu circuit. That’s our goal. To put together a circuit with the same prizes now rewarded at the main event, with the final in Abu Dhabi.
What do you expect from the qualifiers in Gramado and Rio de Janeiro?
I don’t even know where to begin talking about the location in the south. Gramado is a place geared towards events and this will be a big sporting event. The temperature here is very pleasant and Gramado provides the public and athletes a chance to not be stuck in the routine of the gymnasium. You can take the family and friends to walk in a beautiful place and the event is not so massive. Saturday will be the competition and Sunday will be a true show, with the best of Jiu-Jitsu. All this to be broadcast live over the Internet, with coverage on SporTV and major media outlets. This is how we will improve the event more and more. I think it will be even better in Rio for being in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s birthplace, because everyone breathes the sport. I think we’ll have even more top athletes in Rio, and the best part is that this year, with two tryouts, double the number of people will have a shot at winning.
What does being broadcast over the internet add in value to the event?
It opens a lot of doors. The folks in Abu Dhabi will watch the event and see how things are going and the athletes can keep an eye on what lies ahead for them, in addition to promoting the image of the fighters and their sponsors. The whole world will be watching the Brazilian qualifiers, because everyone’s main opponents are here. It’s also really important for the organization and it means we have to pay greater attention to detail with the event. It has to run smoothly. Our sponsors will be watching.
Would you like to make any other comment?
It is the transformation of Jiu-Jitsu pulling other events along with it, like what FEPA and the folks in Jordan do. I hope everyone can make it work out so we can get investment from big companies and give more opportunity for fighters to live exclusively Jiu-Jitsu.
For more information about the event, visit www.abudhabipro.com.br.