For the past 3 years, the UAEJJF have made London the last stop of their jiu jitsu season before the UAEJJF World Pro Championships. With cash prizes on offer, the event has attracted some of the best athletes in the world to fly over to compete in the capital of England. Even though this event is only 3 years old, it has already established itself as one of the top competitions in Europe and can be argued to be only second to IBJJF European Open in terms of Gi competitions.
Along with the Grand slam competition, the UAEJJF will also be hosting another edition of the Abu Dhabi King of Mats, the lightweight edition, with 10 of the best lighter weight competitors in the world competing for the title of King of Mats.
With the London Grandslam and the UAEJJF King of Mats, this weekend promises to be a highly explosive and exciting weekend of Jiu Jitsu!
Male Adult Black 56kg
Usually the very lightest division is most likely the least subscribed, however for the London Grandslam there are 7 world class competitors. In one of the more open divisions, no one seems to be the clear favourite to take the 56kg title. Some of the competitors to keep your eyes on include Japans Nobuhiro Sawada who took Gold in the same division in the Tokyo Grandslam and then won Gold in the Roosterweight division of the IBJJF World NoGi championships. Cleber Fernandes of Almeida JJ is a world champion at Brown belt and a European medallist at black belt. Pedro Dias of Cantagalo team is an exciting competitor with two European titles at brown belt and multiple Grand Slam medals this season. If anyone were to stand out it would be GF Teams Carlos Alberto Da Silva, the 2018 World Pro champion, who is a serial winner in the 56kg division on the UAEJJF circuit winning the Rio Grandslam and Abu Dhabi Grandslam this season and also won last year’s London Grandslam!
Male Adult Black 62KG
A 5 man bracket, looking at the division, a close out between PSLPB Cicero Costha team mates Joao Miyao, who needs no introduction, and Hiago George, the LA and Rio grand slam champion, can be expected. ZR team athlete Joao Batista de Sousa, aka Gabriel Sousa can play spoiler and perhaps take Gold, especially after defeating Hiago George at the LA Grand Slam Final.
Male Adult Black 69KG
Despite being a division of 11, with most of the athletes being extremely decorated in world jiu jitsu, many would say the smart money would be on two athletes. Paulo Miyao of Cicero Costha, and Gianni Grippo of Marcelo Garcia. Here we have a true modern-day rivalry between two of the top featherweight competitors. Paulo Miyao had dominated this rivalry for many years, with Grippo unable to overcome his foe. However last year, Gianni finally broke through beating Miyao at the LA grand slam and Kasai Grappling. Both are highly decorated with Miyao winning multiple world titles both UAEJJF and IBJJF, while Grippo has won multiple Pan American titles, World No GI titles and is a two time World Pro champion! Expect at least one of these dominant athletes in the finals. Multiple athletes will be aiming to crash the party, primarily Isaac Doederlein of Alliance, a UAEJJF World Pro Champion at brown belt and a Bronze Medallist at the IBJJF Europeans at black belt, Isaac is an experienced and decorated competitor. Rookie Black belt Cole Franson will be looking to make a splash in the black belt division after a successful brown belt career where he took Gold at the 2018 IBJJF Pans.
Male Adult Black 77kg
The largest adult black belt division, multiple world, pans and European medallists. Diego Ramalho would seem to be a favourite as he already is a two-time grand slam champion this season with wins in Tokyo and Abu Dhabi, and a silver medal at the Rio Grandslam. He faces stiff opposition in rookie black belt Leonardo Lara of Atos, who is a world champion at Brown belt and is already an ACB world champion at black belt. On the European front however, there are many black belts who could most possibly take the gold, Kingz Kimonos athlete Max Lindblad would seem to lead the back as a UAEJJF World Pro Champion at Brown belt, he also took European Silver and IBJJF World bronze at brown belt. His team mate Erik Friberg is also a potential medallist. Along with Scramble Athlete Tommi Pulkannen, who defeated Marcelo Garcia stand out Jonathan Satava at this event last year. Being a UK event, there are multiple British Athletes who will be looking to defend home turf including Carlson Gracie Black Belt Sam Gibson, a bronze medallist at the IBJJF Europeans at black belt, and Oliver Lovell and Bradley Hill of Gracie Barra UK.
Male Adult Black 85KG
While a smaller division, the talent level is still through the roof, in this division it’s hard to look past Lucas Barbosa, the current IBJJF World Champion however it won’t be a cake walk for him as others looking to take the Gold and prize money include, current King of Mats champion Charles Santos of Roger Gracie Academy who will most definitely have the home support being based in London. A potential spoiler in the division is Manuel Ribamar of NS Brotherhood, a world champion at Brown belt and the World Series of Grappling champion in 2018. A smaller but explosive division, keep your eyes on this mat!
Male Adult Black 94kg
Our pick would be Kingz Kimonos Athlete Kaynan Duarte, who since being promoted to black belt has been dominant. Winning the Rio Grandslam, and taking Major Golds, winning the IBJJF World NoGi, and the Europeans in his weight class. However other world class Black belts have travelled over to compete for the title, including Unity JJ’s Devhonte Johnson a world champion at Brown belt and a black belt world NoGi medalist, Adam Wardzinski is our potential Darkhorse for Gold!
Male Adult Black 110kg
Probably the smallest division, look out for two Goliaths to collide in Ricardo Evangelista and Helton Junior of Atos, both are experienced black belts with Ricardo being the most decorated with multiple IBJJF and UAEJJF titles and medals to his name!
Female Adult Brown and Black 49kg
In a division of 5, the 49kg division has a clear favourite in GF Teams Mayssa Bastos, who has a been on an absolute tear in the past year, winning the 2018 UAEJJF World Pro, after being awarded her black belt after a second place finish at the IBJJF world championships, she would go on to win the Tokyo Grandslam along with the Rio Grandslam and on the IBJJF scene win both the Asian and European Opens. However, she will face stiff opposition in her European foes, such as two-time European Black Belt champion, Serena Gabrielli.
Female Adult Brown and Black 55kg
Another smaller division but never the less full of talented athletes. Gabriela Fechter of Checkmat is one to look out for, the 2018 World Brown belt absolute champion and a 2019 European Blackbelt medallist. Ana Rodrigues is also a young athlete to look out for, a 20-year-old brown belt, with multiple IBJJF Open Golds, she was awarded her Brown belt after a Gold medal performance at the 2018 IBJJF World championships at purple belt. Ana would also win Bronze in the Rio Grandslam this UAEJJF season and took gold at the Brazil National Pro!
Female Adult Brown and Black 62kg
One of the most competitive divisions at black belt this weekend, with multiple world champions taking part. There are 3 standouts, firstly Kingz athlete Ffion Davies, who after winning the IBJJF World Championships as a brown belt has been on absolute run, winning her first major competition at the IBJJF NoGi World Championships, she would then follow this on with a gold at the IBJJF European Championships. There is also the current UAEJJF World Pro champion Bianca Basilio who this season has taken gold at the Rio and Abu Dhabi versions of the grand slam. There is also the current lightweight IBJJF European champion, Germanys Charlotte Von Baumgarten, who won this event last season and is also a world championship medalist. Outside these three, expect athletes like Larissa Paes, a world pro medalist and the current Tokyo Grand slam champion to have something to say!
Female Adult Brown and Black 70kg
At 70kg, we see another rivalry developing on the UAEJJF scene between Thamara Silva of Cicero Costha, and Scramble athlete Samantha Cook ! Starting back from last year’s UAEJJF World Pro, they have competed each other on the UAEJJF circuit five times, with Thamara winning 4 of the 5 contests, but what makes it even more interesting is Samantha winning the last match up just last month at the UAEJJF Europe Continental Pro. Both are highly decorated with Thamara winning the LA, Rio and Abu Dhabi Grandslam and taking third place at the UAEJJF World Pro last year. Samantha has also been on a great run, taking gold at the Tokyo Grandslam and winning the IBJJF European Open.
Female Adult Brown and Black 90kg
Under 90kg has a very clear favourite in Gabrielli Pessanha, the 18 year old athlete from Rio De Janeiro has been extremely dominant in her Jiu Jitsu career, winning every major tournament at purple belt, both her weight class and absolute. After being promoted to Brown belt, her run on the UAEJJF scene has been flawless, winning every Grandslam tournament this season, she is looking to complete the set at this year’s London Grandslam. Standing in her way will most likely be Kendall Reusing who took gold at last year’s UAEJJF world pro at purple belt. She is also an IBJJF World NoGi champion in both her weight class and the absolute division.