For the 2017 edition of the Abu Dhabi World Pro, set to take place this week in the UAE, a legion of Brazilian fighters landed hoping to win gold and some prize money.
The rules determined by the UAEJJF, however, state that only two athletes per weight class per nationality would qualify for the main brackets of the brown-belt and black-belt tourneys. The No.1-ranked fighter of each weight division was automatically qualified, and the hopefuls competed this Thursday morning for the second spot. It was quite the competition, with a lot riding on it, and you can find out who qualified by reading on.
Male Black belt
56kg – Wellington Lima fought four times to claim the spot in the main bracket. He beat Jorge Nakamura and Anoar Jezini in the first and second round and then Ariel Amaral in the semifinals. In the final, a rematch with Nakamura and a 5-0 lead was enough to secure the victory.
62kg – Cleber Fernandes fought three times to secure his spot in the main bracket. He beat Gabriel Lima, Bruno Cabral and Lucas Dantas to make sure he is present this Friday to fight for the gold medal.
69kg – Talison Costa arrived in Abu Dhabi as the division champion at the recent Grand Slam London. He fought three times to make it to the main bracket. First a 2-1 win on advantages over Luciano de Andrade followed by a 3-1 lead on Victor Moraes in the semifinal. The final was against Isaque Paiva, the Grand Slam Abu Dhabi champion. A sweep was enough to build a 2-0 lead for Talison and secure the spot.
77kg – Isaque Bahiense had no easy path on his way to the spot in the main bracket. He fought 4 times, first beating Luan Alves by referee decision, then Pedro Farias 4-0 on points. The semifinal was against two-time ADWPJJC champion Roberto Satoshi. A 4-2 lead put Bahiense in the final against Jhonny Souza. Bahiense managed a sweep and a guard pass to score 5-0 and guarantee his name on the main bracket. Also in this division, John Satava beat AJ Agazarm twice to win the USA qualifiers and make it to the main bracket.
85kg – Claudio Calasans Jr. has a long history in Abu Dhabi. He wrote another nice chapter this Thursday winning three matches to make it to the main bracket. He beat Roberto Frias 2-0, defeated Lucas Barbosa by DQ and met Charles Negromonte in the final. A quick kneebar ended the match early.
94kg – Felipe Pena was the clear favorite here. In three matches, he choked Maciel Trindade from the back, caught Vicente Cavalcante with a hand triangle and outscored Helton Junior 2-0 in the final to secure his spot in the main bracket.
110kg – Erberth Santos fought three times to make it to the main bracket. He finished Max Gimenis from the back, outscored Raphael Souza 3-0 on advantages after a 4-4 tie on points and beat Gustavo Dias 2-0 with a takedown.
Female Brown/Black belt
49kg – Isabela Couto was a no show, so Clarissa Lacerda had to beat Angela de Carvalho once to make it to the main bracket.
55kg – Thamires Aquino beat Tamiris Vieira twice to secure her spot.
62kg – Bia Mesquita finished Luciana Kusaka, Laurian Mendes and Francielle Nascimento before meeting up with Bianca Basílio, also undefeated. A leg crossed over Mesquita’s knee caused Basílio to be DQed and the spot going to Beatriz. In this division, Tammi Musumeci finished Erin Herle twice in the USA qualifier to secure her spot.
70kg Priscilla Cerqueira first finished Sabrina de Souza and then beat Natalia de Souza 6-0 to secure the spot in the main bracket.
90kg – Talita Nogueria fought twice and beat Jessica da Silva and Vanessa Oliveira to make it to the main bracket.
The black belts go back to fighting this Friday, at 10:30AM local time (11:30PM in Los Angeles, 2:30AM in New York), for the main brackets that will run up until the finals are set.