Meyran Alves (C) poses with the trophy after winning the King of Mats title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour finale.
Capping an evening of furious fighting between world jiu-jitsu legends, Brazil’s Meyran Alves claimed the 'King of Mats' crown while his country dominated the Masters' division of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour finale.
Colombia and the UAE settled for second and third place respectively.
On the second day of the three-day event, top-ranked competitors from across the world grappled for medals and points in front of a lively crowd of fans and family members at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City.
In Clubs’ category, Commando Group topped the table, surpassing Palms Sports in second and AFNT in third.
"The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour once again consolidates the UAE capital's significant role in developing jiu-jitsu around the world," said Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, president of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union, and senior vice-president of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
"Such competitions help provide the ideal platform for Emirati players and help them reach their full potential," he said.
Antonio Santana of the Roger Gracie Academy in Brazil added: "I am delighted to have earned gold in the Masters category. I'm happy that I was able to come here and compete in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
“It's one of the most important tournaments because it brings together multiple world-class athletes. Winning this medal adds to my experience and motivates me to work harder and compete in future events."
Eloisa Crespo Perez of Spain, who won gold, said: “I am very satisfied with the results and all my hard work has paid off. This is my second time competing in Abu Dhabi and my next goal is to participate in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship."
Emirati Saud Nasser Al Harthy of the AFNT Academy, who earned silver in the masters division, added: "I intended for the gold medal in today's contests and came close to it. I will keep practicing in order to win gold in future competitions."
The 11th edition of the King of Mats tournament witnessed the participation of six of the world's top ranked players, including Alves (Brazil), Isaac Doederlein (USA), Omar Al Fadhli (UAE), Rodinei Junior (Brazil), Lucas Pinheiro (Brazil), and Alexssandro Sodre (Brazil).
"The ‘King of Mats’ tournaments has gained much popularity and prestige in the world of jiu-jitsu, especially with the growing demand for participation by the top players in the world. This is an unmissable opportunity for them to fight against the greatest in the world," Tareq Al Bahri, AJP's general manager, stated.
In turn, Alves, who defeated Doederlein to secure the title, said: "I am very happy with the title. It’s so overwhelming. I prepared in a special way to participate in this tournament and watched several videos of my fellow participants and focused on their weaknesses and strengths.
“I would like to thank everyone who supported me throughout the training and also the organising committee for such a wonderful experience.”
Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Ju-Jitsu Asian Union and senior vice-president of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Mohammed Bin Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, member of board of directors of UAEJJF; Tariq Al Bahri, general manager of Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, and several officials, guests and representatives of academies were all present during the event.