Abu Dhabi Pro Trials Highlight with Commentary

I competed in the Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu Pro 2013 Trials in New York this weekend. In the adult divisions, 53 brown/black belts, 60 purple belts, 82 blue belts, and 34 white belts were all competing for the tickets to Abu Dhabi in the spring to compete in the Jiu Jitsu Pro Cup. There were a lot of excellent matches, and I put a little highlight together with commentary of the matches that I caught on video:

As a competitor and a fan of the sport, I like to watch a good takedown battle followed by an intense guard passing battle. And that’s exactly what I saw a lot of at this event. Maybe, my eyes were subconsciously biased, but I did not see many double guard pulls.

Another observation I made is most of the submissions I saw were chokes from back control. There were very few submissions from closed guard (e.g. triangle, omoplata).

And of course, given that so many good competitors showed up, the day was full of close matches. The two biggest fights of the night for me were the finals of the black belt 183 division, and the finals of black belt absolute. In the former, Tussa lost by a few advantages to Keenan Cornelius. In the latter, Cyborg lost by one advantage to DJ Jackson.

As far as my own experience, I’ll simply repost what I wrote on Facebook: “Tough day. I competed in the Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials, lost 0-0 by an advantage. It’s difficult to explain the kind of disappointment that comes with that. The tournament mat is very different than the training mat. I saw a lot of good guys lose today. So I’m in good company when I say that I’ll just have to get back on the mat tomorrow, drill more, train harder, and win gold next Saturday.”

The following were the competitors in the Brown/Black Belt divisions. The full list of competitors can be found here.

-143 (anything under 143.0lbs)
Omar French – Renato Tavares Association
Alok Lal – Renzo Gracie
Matthew Maldonado – Alliance NYC
Gianni Grippo – Renzo Gracie
Alex Ecklin – Vitor Shaolin BJJ
Elliott Bayev – OpenMat MMA/5 Star

-163 (143.1 thru 163.0lbs)
Luis Giron – Clockwork BJJ
Augusto Mendes – Soul Fighters
Jomari Guarin – ECUBJJ
Francisco Iturralde – Alliance NYC
Renan Borges – Brazilian Top Team
Brad Souders – Tatu BJJ
AJ Agazarm – Gracie Barra
Denis Pinto – Fight Sports
Garry Tonon – Ocean County BJJ
Ramon Flores – Kioto BJJ
Michael Padilla – Renzo Gracie PA
Marcel Goncalves – Fight Sports
Bret Perchaluk – Team Roberto Traven
David Bass – Alliance NYC
Marcos Vinicius Sobral – Gracie Humaita International
Charles Gomes – Gracie Barra

-183 (163.1 thru 183.0lbs)
Fletcher Linton – Maxercise/Luiz Palhares Jiu Jitsu/Moreno BJJ
Thierry Barbot – Soca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Rodrigo Breves – Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ
Francisco Pacheco – Clockwork BJJ
Javier Valenciano – Renzo Gracie
Ricardo Sousa Resende – Fight Sports
Jordan Lutsky – ECUBJJ
John O’Brien – Triad Martial Arts/ Rickson Gracie
Dj Jackson – Team Lloyd Irvin
Rafael Barbosa – Soul Fighters
Greg Soto – Precision Jiu-Jitsu
Brian Beaury – Atlas Jiu-Jitsu (moved by request from 163)
Esteban Arias – Renzo Gracie

-202 (183.1 thru 202.0lbs)
Todd Mueckenheim – BlackHole Jiujitsu
Timothy Grecco – Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu
Fernando Moya – Renzo Gracie
Nelson Puentes – Alliance
Ronnie Wuest – Delaware Combat Sports
Vinicius Costa – Team Jucao
Jon Wagner – Nova Uniao
Paul Wickes – Balance
Daniel O’Brien – Triad Martial Arts/ Rickson Gracie
Keenan Cornelius – Team Lloyd Irvin
Roberto Alencar – Gracie Barra
Raphael Fischetti – Barbosa/Fenix BJJ
William Shannon – Tony Passos
Luiz Costa – Renzo Gracie Academy

Over 202 (anything over 202.1 lbs)
Kenneth Brown – Team Lloyd Irvin
Roberto de Abreu Filho – Fight Sports
Shaun Durfee – Easton BJJ/The Academy
Damian O’Hara – Ares Athletic Club
John Toth – Balance
Jason Yerrington – Marra Senki
Joshua Owen – Soul Fighter Connecticut

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