On Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the Mubadala Arena, in the United Arab of Emirates (UAE), as part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour, the Abu Dhabi King of the Mats- the Middleweights tournament takes place.
This event invites ten of the best middleweight BJJ competitors to battle it out for a chance to challenge the middleweight belt holder Charles Negromonte at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championships, being held in April 2019 in Abu Dhabi. In September of 2018, Erberth Santos defeated Jackson Souza by Referee’s decision to become the heavyweight contender to compete against the reigning champ, Alexander Trans at the same event in April 2019.
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King of the Mats History
The inaugural King of the Mats tournament took place in April 2018 in the UAE, as the UAEJJF’s Abu Dhabi World Pro Championships was celebrating their 10 year anniversary. To honor the celebration, the UAEJJF invited some of the biggest names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu- including former World Champions Andre Galvao, Roberto Cyborg, Tarsis Humphreys, and Celso Vinisius.
At the end of the round robin tournament, there were surprising champions in each of the three divisions. In the Lightweight division, Leonardo Saggioro defeated Gianni Grippo by Ref’s decision, in the Middleweight Division, Charles Negromonte defeated Jamie Canuto by Ref’s decision, and in the Heavyweight Category, Alexander Trans defeated Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu by choke.
For the middleweight event taking place in January, multiple IBJJF Black Belt World Champions will be contending for the top position:
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Gabriel Arges (Gracie Barra) – IBJJF Black Belt World Champion 2016, 2017 and ADWPJJC Champion in 2015 and 2016
Roberto Satoshi (Bonsai Japan) – IBJJF Black Belt Silver Medalist, 2017 and two time ADWPJJC Champion (2012, 2014).
Isaque Bahiense (Alliance) – IBJJF Black Belt World Champion 2018, and ADWPJJC Champion 2018.
Espen Mathiesen (Kimura/Nova Uniao) – IBJJF Black Belt Bronze Medalist 2018, ADWPJJC Champion 2018.
Gilbert “Durinho” Burns – IBJJF Black Belt World Champion, 2011 and ADWPJJC Champion 2009.
Diego Ramalho (ZR Team), Alan “Finfou” Nascimento (Checkmat), DJ Jackson (Team Lloyd Irvin), Manuel Ribamar (Unity Jiu Jitsu), and Rudson Mateus (Caio Terra Association) round out the remaining tough middleweight division.
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