The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour is coming to Tokyo, Japan on January 14th, 2024 and we’ve put together a full preview of each division at the event. It’s been a few seasons since the AJP Tour made a visit to Tokyo and there will be a lot of attention on the tournament as a result. Some of the best grapplers from all around Japan are competing in each division and just like any other Abu Dhabi Grand Slam event, there are some amazing competitors traveling from much further away as well.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo 2024 Preview
Light-Featherweight – Under 56kg
Favorites – Thalison Soares stands out as the favorite after getting a bronze medal at the Abu Dhabi World Pro, and it’s going to be tough for anyone to stop him from winning the division here. He isn’t the only top competitor at light-featherweight by any stretch of the imagination though, and Welison Fernandes is almost certainly going to make it to the podium at least.
Dark Horse – It’s hard to picture anyone other than Soares or Fernandes winning the division, but Kota Shibata will be one to watch as the bracket unfolds.
Featherweight – Under 62kg
Favorites – The featherweight division is stacked with some incredible talent and although Yuri Hendrex is the safest bet to win in this preview of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam – Tokyo 2024, it’s going to be far from easy for him. The biggest challenges he’ll face will likely come from Jefferson Fagundes and Roiter Lima, both elite competitors in their own right.
Dark Horse – Shoya Ishiguro is a fantastic competitor and although he’s not ranked in the featherweight division at the AJP Tour, he could easily cause an upset against some of the bigger names.
Lightweight – Under 69kg
Favorites – Matheus Onda will be very tough to beat at lightweight, but Thiago Macedo has much more high-level competition experience on his side and should also be considered one of the top contenders for the gold medal here.
Dark Horse – Reon Niwa is one of the top prospects to come out of Art of Jiu-Jitsu recently and although he hasn’t been able to break through to the highest levels just yet, this could be the moment he gets big win.
Welterweight – Under 77kg
Favorites – The welterweight division is wide open here and it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out when the competitors hit the mats. Lucas Protasio and Andre Cantanhede will both be pretty safe bets to reach the podium, but it’s hard to predict which one of them (or anyone else) will take the title.
Dark Horse – Because the welterweight division is so unpredictable, there’s no one single dark horse here. Instead, the majority of the competitor list could easily wind up on the podium if they can put in their best performance on the mat.
Middleweight – Under 85kg
Favorites – Uanderson Ferreira is one of the best middleweight competitors on the planet and he should be able to come away with the gold medal here, but he does have some stiff opposition from Pedro Silva. It seems like it might be inevitable that they meet on the mats in Tokyo and it’ll be no doubt be a very exciting matchup.
Dark Horse – Faris Ben-lamkadem is a really talented grappler coming out of Roger Gracie Academy in England and he’s coming a very long way to compete here. He should be able to get some wins and if he can put it all together on the day, he might even reach the top of the podium.
Light-Heavyweight – Under 94kg
Favorites – There are two names in particular that stand out as potential champions in the light-heavyweight division, Marcos Carrozzino and Italo Lima Costa. These two men are both top competitors and it’s going to be very hard for anyone else to break into the top two spots of the podium unless they run into each other before the final.
Dark Horse – It hasn’t been long since Clemer Canario was promoted to black belt and he’s very much an unknown quantity, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can spring some surprises on the more experienced competitors.
Super-Heavyweight – Under 120kg
Favorite – Super-heavyweight is the smallest men’s division of the event with just 8 competitors involved, and there’s one man who has been able to perform at a higher level than the rest in the past. Gutemberg Pereira should be able to take home the gold medal here, and it would take a flawless performance to stop him from doing so.
Dark Horse – Although there’s only one likely winner at super-heavyweight, there is a young prospect waiting to prove himself on the big stage. Vladimir Blium is just 19 years old and although the odds are stacked against him, he might just make it to the podium.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam – Tokyo 2024 event is going to be run the same as every other AJP Tour event, and the women’s divisions in this preview are a combination of both brown and black belts.
Roosterweight – Under 49kg
Favorites – Mayssa Bastos has been on fire for the past year and she’s looked unstoppable for quite some time, so she’s a safe bet to take home the gold medal here. Diana Teixeira is another big name entering the division and although it might be hard for her to beat Bastos in Tokyo, she definitely has the skills to do it.
Dark Horse – Eliana Carauni is no stranger to the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and she’s managed to come out on top before, so she very well might do that again. She should be able to occupy one of the spots on the podium at the very least.
Light-Featherweight – Under 54kg
Favorites – Alexa Yanes is a fantastic grappler and although she might be the favorite at light-featherweight, she isn’t the only one who has a good chance of taking home gold in this preview of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam – Tokyo 2024. Beatriz Campos is right at the top of the AJP Tour rankings for good reason, and she could easily come away with the win here.
Dark Horse – Dorothy Dao is another top prospect from Art of Jiu-Jitsu and she’s actually got a good chance of causing an upset here. She’ll have to win some really difficult matches, but she’s definitely capable of doing so.
Lightweight – Under 62kg
Favorites – Julia Alves is the woman to beat at lightweight and she should be able to storm through this division and reach the top of the podium. Her biggest challenge is going to come from Gabriela Pereira, who took home a bronze medal at the Abu Dhabi World Pro in 2023 and established herself as a huge threat in the division.
Dark Horse – Milli McCourt is another interesting prospect from Art of Jiu-Jitsu and this could end up being a really successful event for the team if everything goes well.
Middleweight – Under 70kg
Favorites – Izadora Silva is a brilliant competitor and she’s tough for anyone to beat, so a space on the podium is almost guaranteed for her. She should be able to take home the title but Maria Vicentini will be doing everything in her power to put a stop to that. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top in a direct match between them, and that match might just decide the fate of the division.
Dark Horse – Magdalena Loska is a veteran competitor and she’ll definitely bring the heat in every match she’s in, so she could manage to win the division if things go her way.
Heavyweight – Under 95kg
Favorite – The women’s heavyweight division is always small and at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam – Tokyo 2024 there’s only one approved entry and two unapproved entries in this preview. Tayane Porfirio is the approved entry and she’s also the favorite to win, regardless of what else happens before the event takes place.
Dark Horse – This is such a small division that there really isn’t a dark horse in it, we’re backing Porfirio as the champion even if she does have to beat both of her potential opponents.
The full list of all competitors in each division in the above preview of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour – Tokyo 2024 can be found here.