November 9, 2023

After over a week of competition, the wait is finally over. This Thursday, November 9th, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023 has officially kicked off its main brackets, turning the Mubadala Arena into a true battlefield for the best warriors the sport has to offer. All the matches can be watched at .

As expected, the highlights of the day were the duels of the Professional black belt category. From the lightest to the heaviest, athletes took to the AJP mats and showed to the entire world why they rank among Jiu-Jitsu's elite, putting their skills and training to the test as they fought to reach the finals, which will take place on November 10th, at the last day of the tournament. Without further ado, check out below which athletes will fight in the ADWPJJC 2023 Professional black belt finals!

Men's Gi / Professional / Black Belt

56kg – Zayed Alkhateeri vs. Yuri Hendrex

Zayed once again finds himself in the ADWPJJC final. Defending his title, the Emirati star will be up against the top-ranked Yuri Hendrex, who will be coming in hot after today's victories over fellow countryman Thalison Soares and Russia's Yaroslav Rudenko, both by points. In addition to the title, Yuri is aiming to accrue the points he needs to reach first place in the ranking.

62kg - Meyram Maquine Alves vs. Khaled Alshehi

The Brazilian Meyram confirmed his favoritism in the division, especially after he defeated the ranking leader Leonardo Mario in the semifinal, by 5-3. On the other side of the bracket, Emirati powerhouse Khaled Alshehi triumphed in three battles, with his last win of the day being against his tough-as-nails countryman Sultan Alowais. Khaled heads to the finals to fulfill his dream of conquering the ADWPJJC as a black belt.

69kg – Raimundo Diego Sodré vs. Sebastian Serpa

Diego Sodré earned his spot in the 69kg division final to defend his title. To reach his goal, he came out on top of three duels, including a hectic semifinal against Jefferson Fagundes, which ended with a 9-4 score. Across the bracket, the American Sebastian Serpa comes in hot for the final after beating the AJP veteran Thiago Macedo by 2-1.

77kg - Lucas Protasio vs. Pedro Ramalho

The 77kg division champion of the ADWPJJC 2022, Lucas Protasio comes as the favorite in his journey to become a two-time champion, especially after his victory over fellow Brazilian Andre Catanhede with a 2-1 score. On the other side, the Portuguese Pedro Paquito had a great campaign on his way to the final, submitting both Bahrein's Ali Monfaradi and the Uruguayan Nicolas Shiromizu. A great battle is set to take place for the 77kg title match.

85kg - Uanderson Ferreira vs. Bruno Lima

Uanderson Ferreira put on a memorable show on his way to the 85kg final. After beating Eldar Malicovich with a 2-0 score, Uanderson pulled off a move that raised the entire Mubadala Arena. In the semifinal against Faris Ben-Lamkadem, in the first seconds of the fight, Uanderson landed a beautiful takedown and hit the ground with an armbar already locked, in an attack that will undoubtedly remain in the memory of fight fans for a long time. His opponent in the final round will be Bruno Lima, who also showcased his prowess by submitting two out of his three opponents to reach the title match.

94kg - Fellipe Andrew vs. Renan Cruz

The 85kg division champion of the ADWPJJC 2022, Fellipe Andrew went up a weight class, faced a grand total of 7 opponents including qualifier and the main bracket, and secured his place in the final after beating Catriel Oliveira in the semis with his feared triangle choke. His opponent will be Renan Cruz, son of the legend Marcio "Pé de Pano" Cruz, who lived up to his famous surname with three wins today, the last by submitting Adrian Sebastian from the back and taking his spot in the fight for the gold.

120kg - Felipe Bezerra vs. Anton Seleznev

Already holding the Master 1 title from this year's ADWPJJC, Felipe Bezerra returned to the mats to take the Professional gold, overcoming the Brazilian Qualifier and reaching the final after a victory over ADWPJJC 2022 champion Yatan Bueno via referee's decision. Felipe's opponent for the title fight will be the Russian Anton Seleznev, who went through the country qualifier and won three battles in the main bracket, with the highlights being his victories over Anton Minenko and Nico Maglicic.

Women's Gi / Professional / Brown / Black Belt

49kg – Mayssa Bastos vs. Margarita Ochoa

Brazilian Mayssa Bastos had one hurdle before confirming her favoritism and heading into the 49kg final. In the semifinals, last year's champion Brenda Larissa gave Mayssa a run for her money, but the latter still managed to come out on top with a 1-0 score to reach the title match. Across the bracket, the Philippine athlete Margarita Ochoa won three fights, including a 9-0 victory over Russia's Anastasiia Leonovich, to reach the final round.

55kg - Anna Rodrigues vs. Alexa Yanes

Anna Rodrigues is back and ready to fight for the ADWPJJC title. After beating Tamara Toros in the semifinals by 5-4, Anna will face the American Alexa Yanes, who won three fights on the way to the final, beating the Mongolian athlete Mongoljin Ganbaatar in the semifinals, also on points.

62kg - Julia Alves vs. Violeta Angelova

Julia Alves confirmed her favoritism in the under-62kg bracket by winning two fights, the semifinal being a 4-0 score over Greek Zafeiria Panagiotarakou. Her opponent for the title will be Violeta Angelova, silver in the Master 1 division, who comes boosted by a submission against Selma Vik in the semifinal.

70kg - Ingridd Alves vs. Nia Blackman

Ingridd Alves beat last year's champion Izadora Silva in the semifinal, aiming to fight for the 70kg division gold. Her opponent will be the British Nia Blackman, who arrives confident for the title fight after beating strong names in the group, such as Auriele Le Vern and Magdalena Loska.

95kg - Gabrieli Pessanha vs. Yara Soares Nascimento

Gabi Pessanha and Yara Soares will headline another final in the AJP, this time for the ADWPJJC 95kg division gold. Both athletes beat Yasmira Dias in the group of three to take their places in this Friday's duel for the title belt.