The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour 2022/2023 season is coming to an end with the promotion’s final stop in Abu Dhabi on May 6th, 2023 and we’re on hand to preview all of the black belt divisions. As always, the AJP Tour has attracted some of the best grapplers on the planet and they’re all making their way to UAE ahead of the event. It’s set to be an incredibly exciting weekend of high-level BJJ from start to finish and every single weightclass has several competitors capable of coming away with a gold medal from the event.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour – Abu Dhabi 2023 Full Preview
There will be coloured belt divisions leading up to the main attraction of the weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour – Abu Dhabi 2023 and they always feature exciting up-and-coming grapplers, but in this preview we’ll focus on the men’s black belt divisions and the women’s brown/black mixed divisions.
Light-Featherweight – Under 56kg
Zayed Alkatheeri made history earlier this year when he became the first UAE athlete to win an IBJJF major at black belt and he stands out as the most likely to win this tournament in his home-country. Yuri Hendrex will also be competing at light-featherweight and he’s the main opposition that Alkatheeri will have to watch out for.
Featherweight – Under 62kg
There’s 13 men competing at featherweight in the final event of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour 2022/2023 season and it’s one of the most difficult divisions to predict in this preview. Hiago George is an incredibly prolific competitor and Leonardo Mario has been in great form since getting his black belt, so one of these two men probably wins here.
Lightweight – Under 69kg
Lightweight is the biggest black belt division of the tournament, with 17 men signed up to compete. Despite that, it’s surprisingly easy to predict the winner here. It’s going to be incredibly hard for anyone to stop Thiago Macedo from running his way through a huge bracket and taking home the gold medal.
Welterweight – Under 77kg
Lucas Protasio is one of the youngest competitors in the welterweight division, but he’s incredibly active. With nearly a hundred matches in just two years of competing at black belt, he’s developed very quickly and is the most likely winner. Andre Cantanhede might be able to cause an upset, but Protasio is the favourite regardless.
Middleweight – Under 85kg
It’s likely that Pedro Neto wins here and he has a significant edge in terms of experience, but two younger grapplers have just as much chance as him. Uanderson Ferreira and Jansen Gomes are two exciting grapplers who have been making waves lately and it’ll be great to see the third match between them at this event.
Light-Heavyweight – Under 94kg
Light-Heavyweight is a very tough division to be in at this event and there are several grapplers who could feasibly reach the top of the podium. Catriel Fernandes and Igor Sousa are the two top seeds but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Marcos Carrozzino or Bartosz Zawadzki take home the gold medal either.
Super-Heavyweight – Under 120kg
Yatan Bueno is a firm-favourite to win at super-heavyweight and although Rodrigo Ribeiro is definitely capable of stopping him, the division really is Bueno’s to lose.
All of the women’s divisions listed below in this preview of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour – Abu Dhabi 2023 are actually mixed brown and black belt divisions, just like every other tournament in the tour circuit.
Roosterweight – Under 49kg
There’s 6 women competing at roosterweight and the top-seeded competitor is Diani Teixeira. Although she is the most likely winner in the division, she’s going to have some tough opposition to get past before she reaches the podium. Most notably, Wadima Alyafei stands out as the most likely woman to stop her.
Light-Featherweight – Under 55kg
It will be very hard for any woman in this preview to stop Alexa Yanes from winning the light-featherweight division, as she’s the clear favourite to win the final event of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour 2022/2023 season at this weight. Rose El Sharouni will be tough to beat as well, and these two represent the most likely final match.
Lightweight – Under 62kg
It seems to be almost a certainty that GF Team will end up winning this division as both of the two top-seeded competitors represent them. It’s tough to choose between Maria Delahaye and Julia Alves, although Alves would appear to have the slight edge.
Middleweight – Under 70kg
Ingridd Alves should cruise to victory at middleweight really and it’s hard to imagine anyone but her winning the division. Gabriella Ripepi probably has the best chance, but even then it’s going to take a lot for her to stop Alves from winning.
Heavyweight – Under 92kg
This is the smallest women’s division at the event with just 4 women competing, but it’s also one of the hardest to predict. Mayara Moreira is probably going to win it, but she’ll have two tough matches to do so no matter who she ends up facing.