Abu Dhabi Grand Slam London: Miyao, Ana Carol, Isaque, Jackson, others put on a show in the black belt division on day 1
The final leg of the 2017/2018 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour started out with a bang this Saturday, March 10, at the Copper Box Arena, in London, UK. Close to two hundred black belts hit the mats on day 1 to treat the crowd to hours of thrills. The adult division featured huge names competing for their spot in the final for a chance to win a gold medal this Sunday. The finals both for men and women are schedule for this Sunday afternoon. Here's how each division of the adult black belt division played out today in London.
Male Black Belt
56kg - Jose Carlos Lima once again finished the division on the top. In two matches, the Brazilian first beat João Kuraoka 4-2 in a tough match and then managed a 2-0 lead over Andrea Verdemare to take the gold medal home. It's Jose's fourth title in five Grand Slam events this season.
62kg – Hiago George is on the way to another gold medal this season. He fought once to reach the final, beating Pedro Clementino 5-0 on advantages in the semifinal. Hiago's opponent will be Korea's Wanki Chae, who beat Jorge Nakamura 4-0 and then finished Wellington Lima in the other semifinal.
69kg – Paulo Miyao wants his back to back title. He fought twice this Saturday to secure a spot in the final. He first choked Max Campos from the back and then beat Jan Basso 9-0 in the semifinal. Also fighting for the gold medal is Victor Otoniel, who took the long way to the final. He beat Alex Cabanes 6-4, then finished Eduardo Vieira and finally outscored Alexandre Vieira 5-2 in the semifinal.
77kg – In the most crowded bracket, Jamie Canuto fought three times to reach the final. He caught Krzysztof Suchorabski with a flying armbar, then outscored Bruno Borges 13-0 and finally met Kywan Gracie in the semifinal, settled with an armbar after guard pass and mount. On the other side, Marcos Paulo Costa also had a long way to the final, beating Kenji Sette 4-2, Oliver Lovell 2-1 on advantages and finally Rafael Mansur 2-0.
85kg – Isaque Bahiense and Charles Negromonte will meet once again. After a tough final in Abu Dhabi, Bahiense wants to take the title back from Negromonte, who will have the boost of his teammates rooting for him in London. This Saturday, Negromonte fought twice to reach the final, first finishing Bruno Reale with a choke from the mount and then Sweden's Max Lindblad by ref decision. Bahiense also had a tough route to the final. He beat Igor Sousa 4-0 and then José Henrique Carodoso 2-0.
94kg – Jackson Sousa held his home turf with a solid performance this Saturday. In two matches, he caught Steve Combourg with a foot lock and then choked Ben Hodgkinson from the back to reach the final. Paulo Pinto was the surprise element in the bracket. He beat favorite Adam Wardzinski by one penalty in the semifinal to meet Sousa in the final.
110kg – Thiago Sá wants the gold medal in London. He fought twice this Saturday to reach the final. He beat Antonio Junior 10-0 and then finished Lukasz Lepianka in the semifinal. Champion at the Grand Slam Rio, Poland's Gerard Labinski wants his second title in the season. In the semifinal, he beat Matthew Leighton by referee decision after a 0-0 tie on points.
Female Brown/Black belt
49kg – In a single match, Arantazazu Romero claimed the gold medal with a referee decision win over Serena Gabrielli.
55kg – Belgium's Amal Amjahid and Holland's Rose El Sharouni will clash for the gold medal this Sunday. Amjahid beat sitting champion Amanda Nogueira by referee decision in the semifinal while Sharouni beat Mayara Abrahão 7-2.
62kg – Germany's Charlotte Von Baumgarten wants her back to back title. She caught Nadia Melo with an armlock to reach the final and meet Larissa Paes, who beat Julia Maele by ref decision and then Hannah Rauch 3-0 in the semifinal.
70kg - Ana Carol Vieira did what was expected of a ADWPJJC champion. She fought twice and finished both her opponents on her way to the final. She caught Katherine Hill with a katagatame and then repeated the recipe on Barbara Ruiken. Carol's opponent will be Thamara Silva, who beat Rana Qubbaj 19-0, then Nathalia Zumba by ref decision and finally caught Ane Svendsen with a foot lock.
90kg – Laila Carneiro fought twice to reach the final, beating Jessica de Andrade 5-2 and after that getting a referee decision win over Grace Ferla. Arizona Brodie had to step on the mat only once, beating Laura Barker 3-0 to reach the final.
Day 2 of the Grand Slam London kicks off 10:00AM this Sunday. The black belt finals should start around 3:00PM, local time. Click here for the complete results after day 1.