The Abu Dhabi Pro Gi tournament was first held in 2009. Trials are held in advance of the tournament and the winners of each trials receive an all-inclusive paid trip to compete at the Abu Dhabi Pro World Championship in Abu Dhabi each year. Any other competitors who wish to pay their own expenses are invited to register to compete as well, but only the trials winners receive a free trip to do so. The winners at the Abu Dhabi Pro Championship receive hefty cash prizes. In 2009, six trial tournaments were held. In 2010, there were eleven. And by 2011, they held 18 trials in different countries around the globe. This year was the first year so many of the worlds top competitors went out to compete.
The live feed wasn’t as comprehensive as the IBJJF World Championships, so unfortunately, I don’t have detailed information on each match, but here are some of the recaps of the women’s divisions that I was provided (or saw online). I apologize that I don’t have all formal names or exact match-ups in each case, they never posted brackets.
Abu Dhabi Pro Championship 2011 Preliminary Results (finals take place tomorrow)
Women’s White/Blue Belt Division (-63kg)
I watched a UAE JJ female BJJ player pair up against a Jordanian, the Jordanian lady racked up 17 points to win! An Australian white belt named Jessica came up against a UAE JJ white belt in hijab, Jessica won by armbar. Cara Johnson (also of Australia) armbarred Lira Nomas (I think her name was) of Paraguay. Megan Lomonof from the USA (Fifty/50 BJJ) won 1 match against a UAE JJ female by submission and won a second match by submission before being defeated in the quarterfinals.
Women’s White/Blue Belt Division (+63kg)
Only one match online appeared to be in this category. A female BJJ player from Australia, named Jessica finished her opponent with an Americana from top halfguard.
Women’s Purple/Brown Black Belt Division (-63kg)
These divisions were full of hard fought battles as the top ladies came head to head. Black Belt Brazilian, Luanna Alzuguir overcame Purple Belt American, Samantha Faulhaber 2-0. Michelle Nicolini bested Purple Belt Mackenzie Dern via armbar after doing the same to Carol de Lazer. Luanna cross-choked Ana Carolina Lebre. Bia Mesquita beat Marina Ribeiro (and maybe one other) before she met with Michelle Nicolini in the semi-final, where Bia won via Ref decision. Bia and Luanna will meet up tomorrow for the final match to decide the champion.
Women’s Purple/Brown Black Belt Division (+63kg)
American BB Katrina Weilbacher came up against Penny Thomas. Katie had Penny in a tight triangle but was eventually unable to finish and when Penny came out she was awarded 2 for a sweep, catapulting her into the next round. There Penny came up against Poliana Lago in the semis and earned her spot in the finals on Saturday. Gabi Garcia’s first opponent was Tammy Greigo; who she beat before coming up against fellow Brazilian, Talita Noguiera, who Gabi finished via Americana. Penny and Gabi will meet in the finals on Saturday.
Stay tuned for the finals results tomorrow!
(Many thanks to Ryan Hall and Michelle Nicolini for their on the ground results that were able to fill in some of the holes from the live feed!)