With a total of 184 women, this year’s Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship is promising to be exciting! What is new: there is a new weight category (-49kgs) and the +70kgs division has been changed to a -90kgs division. Let’s see what we can expect from the Abu Dhabi WPJJC next week!


This is a new category this year, and there seemed no problem to get this division filled up quickly! There are ladies from four different continents, with names such as Rikako Yuasa (IBJJF World Champion 2015, black belt), Liwia Gluchowska (IBJJF World Champion 2016, brown belt), as well as the very promising Maysasa Bastos from GF Team Brazil, and many more.  What can you expect from this division? Speedy guard pulls, dynamic styles and transitions so fast that blinking might make you miss it. Keep an eye out on this division, because it will be fast!

Rikako Yuasa x Mayssa Bastos at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2017. Rikako defeated Mayssa by referee decision. Picture by UAEJJF.


This division has names that already blow us away before the action started! Last year’s champion Mackenzie Dern will be defending her title. As usual, we expect a relentless pace from this multiple times black belt World Champion. However, recent Pan American Champion Ana Talita Alencar will be there in the race for gold, as well as GF Team’s Thamires Aquino, whose complex spider guard seems impassable and proved to be ruthless in submissions when given the chance. Besides these ladies, Europe is well represented by Vanessa English from the UK, and Amal Amjahid from Belgium, who both showcased their skills on this year’s European Championship.


We are looking forward to see what’s going down in the -62kgs division! Last year ended up in a battle between Beatriz Mesquita and Bianca Basilio, with Beatriz emerging as the winner by kneebar. This year, they stand together with Luiza Monteiro, Tammi Musumeci, Erin Herle and many more! These ladies are all strong, skilled and powerful, so let’s see who will rise to the podium!

Beatriz Mesquita x Bianca Basilio in the final at the Abu Dhabi WPJJC 2016. Beatriz defeated Bianca by submission. Picture by UAEJJF.


Hold tight for the biggest divison of the tournament! Last year’s champion Nathiely Jesus moved up to the highest weightclass, making space for a new champion this year. Will it be Priscilla Cerquiera, who got second last year? Other ladies we have high expectations from are new black belt Ana Carolina Srour, who has beasting through her division, showing no mercy. Also, Brenda Heller Freitas, who was very successful at this year’s Pan Americans, is someone to look out for!

Ana Carolina Srour finishing an armbar at the IBJJF World Championship 2016. She became the Champion that year. Picture from Ana Vieira’s Instagram.


This year is also the first year the UAEJJF placed an upper limit on the highest weight class. Whereas last year the division was a +70kgs division, this year no one above 90kgs can participate. This rules out last year’s double gold champion Tayana Porfirio, as well as a potential registration from Gabi Garcia. This year, we can expect good fights from Nathiely Jesus, who got gold last year in the -70kgs division, and gold at the European Championship and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam this year. Definetely watch out for Talita Noguira, who has had many successes, amongst which are winning the ADCC trials in Brazil and will be fighting at the ADCC Championship in Finland this September.

Nathiely Jesus going for the submission. Picture from Nathiely’s Instagram.

The Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu Jitsu Championship will take place on April 18th – 22nd. We will be doing updates on the events, so keep an eye out! 

Can’t wait till April 18th? Check out last year’s final of the -55kg division: Mackenzie Dern x Marina Ribeiro!




Rose is a black belt at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy Amsterdam (Checkmat). Besides being one of the co-founders of Ladies Only BJJ, she is a junior doctor MD and holds a MsC degree in Sports Sciences.


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