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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Emirati jiu-jitsu fighters in action at U15 World Cup in Montenegro and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Los Angeles this weekend

The UAE have sent a 25-member squad - 18 boys and seven girls - to Montenegro with 161 travelling to LA

The UAE have sent a 25-member squad, 18 boys and seven girls, for the U15 World Cup in Montenegro. Courtesy Four Communications
The UAE have sent a 25-member squad, 18 boys and seven girls, for the U15 World Cup in Montenegro. Courtesy Four Communications

It's another busy weekend for Emirati jiu-jitsu fighters. The UAE have sent a 25-member squad - 18 boys and seven girls - to Montenegro for the U15 World Cup from Friday to Sunday, while another 161 fighters from four clubs will be in action at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday.

The two competitions over the weekend come on the back of the national team’s success at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, where they topped the medals table in jiu-jistu with four golds, four silver and seven bronze.

The Emiratis taking part at the Los Angeles Convention Centre are those who missed the cut for Ashgabat, comprised of members of the clubs at Al Ain, Al Wahda, Al Jazira and Al Nasr, and who will hope to catch the eye and secure a place at the world championship in Colombia from November 24-26.

“We are extremely proud of our Emirati players, who have put a lot of hard work and dedication into their sport,” said Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, chief executive of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF).

“There are thousands of fighters emerging from our clubs and academies, and it’s our responsibility to provide them as many opportunities as possible to compete at the international level."

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The Grand Slam Los Angeles is set to draw some of the martial art's biggest names, particularly from the United States and South America, all vying for a slice of the US$125,000 (Dh459,000) prize fund and 200 world ranking points on offer to the winners.

Igor Silva, Adam Wardizinski, Jaime Canuto, Renato Canuto, Sergio Rios, Fernando Tsushima, Victor Silverio and Nathalie Ribeiro are some of the leading men expected to enter before the registration closes on Friday.

Jessica Dos Santos, the women’s world No 1 and a gold medallist the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo, headlines the entries in the women’s competition.

“The Grand Slam tours are gaining more momentum with each passing year and are cementing the status and reputation of Abu Dhabi across the world of jiu-jitsu,” said Fouad Darwish, general manager of Palm Sports, the technical arm of the UAEJJF.

“The second leg of the tour in Los Angeles promises to be an electrifying night of fighting action.”

The Grand Slam Los Angeles is the second of the World Tour event of the UAEJJF followed by the Grand Slam Rio de Janeiro (November 10-12), Abu Dhabi (January 12-13) and London (March 10-11).